Prospective publicans raised a glass and toasted the start of a campaign to own their local.
The Bevendean, or Bevy, in Moulsecoomb, Brighton, was closed by police following a string of violent incidents in 2010.
But residents in both Moulsecoomb and Bevendean are working together to try to reopen the once-troubled boozer as a community-owned pub.
Within hours of putting the £10 shares on offer to the public, about £2,500 has already been raised towards bringing the venue in Hillside back to life.
If they reach their £200,000 target, it will become the first community-owned pub on a |ouncil estate in the country.
Local resident Warren Carter, who is behind the plans, said: “It went fantastically well.
“For the last year we have been looking over legal structures and plans, so to bring something |orward and see that others are on board is brilliant.
“The great thing was the mix of ages – there were young and old, people from both estates and |urther afield. I met some people who live ten doors down that I have never met before so it’s already starting to bring people together.”
Among those toasting the success of the launch was local vicar Father John Wall, of St Andrew’s in Moulsecoomb.
He said: “The church works best when it reaches out and works with the local community.
“There’s nowhere in Moulsecoomb for people to meet so having this as a community base is a brilliant idea and part of our wider action plan.
“We should be supporting community groups.”
He added that the newly selected Bishop of Chichester, Martin Warner, had said he wanted to buy a share.
Father Wall said he hoped to share a pint with the chief clergyman in Sussex in the coming months.
About 130 people attended the event at St Andrews Church, Hillside, Moulsecoomb, on Saturday.
Father Wall said: “It’s a lovely initiative and people seemed really excited about it.
“It was a great start to reaching the target on Saturday but it is a sign that the community really want this.
“I don’t think all of the money will be raised by the shares. I’m sure once we get along the way some sponsors will come on board and help us reach the final total.”
As well as a video presentation about the project, drink was donated by Brighton Bier, Langhams Brewery and WJ Beer.
Mr Carter has also suggested people could buy a share as a Christmas present.
For more information visit www.thebevy.co.uk or call 07435649161.
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