The story so far
The Step was for years the best-known and best-loved business in Bowes Park. It was at the centre of the regeneration of Myddleton Road, serving not just as a pub, cafe and restaurant, but as a community venue. Its music events, quiz nights and art exhibitions drew people from across the community, in addition to its hosting numerous clubs – from books
groups to photography enthusiasts.
In March 2020, The Step closed as the owners sold the property and moved away from the area due to family circumstances. The property was purchased by a developer who applied for planning permission to change the use of the ground floor from a pub to flats. Both this and a subsequent application were withdrawn by the developer after objections by hundreds of members of the local community. Unfortunately, by this time, the developers had gutted the property by removing the kitchen, bar, furniture and even plasterwork.
Since June 2022, a team of local people has spent months working with grant funders and advisors towards helping the community to buy and renovate The Step. We have received a £250,000 grant from the UK government towards buying the building, with additional funding from other organisations that support community projects to cover costs like architects and lawyers.
Over 600 local people have told us they back the project and described what they would like to see in the space by filling out a survey. This showed people are looking for a family friendly space with a food offering, complemented by music and art, and a range of services. These include providing somewhere for hot-desking, as well as hosting classes, book clubs and support groups.
In February 2023, we ran a community share offer to raise the £250,000 required from local shareholders. We smashed our target and raised £285,000 in just four weeks!
We completed the purchase of 101 Myddleton Road in May 2023, finally bringing it into community ownership. We are now working on the design and refurbishment of the building, and we’re on the hunt for a tenant! Read more here…