RESIDENTS have backed a campaign to make a community bid for a popular pub.

Save The Dyke Pub (STDP) campaigners want to make a financial bid to buy the entire property in Dyke Road, Brighton, to reopen it as a pub and save it as space for the community.

The move would follow similar bids from community groups that saved locals such as The Bevendean and The Greys pubs, both in Brighton.

At a meeting last week campaigners got strongly behind the move to buy the premises including the beer garden and run it as a pub with space for community events.

The Dyke Pub and Kitchen closed suddenly in September last year without warning. Campaigners have since been involved in long-running battle with the owner to preserve the heritage of the building and reopen it as a pub.

Dyke Pub Preservation Society (DPPS), a group within STDP, has been set-up solely to concentrate on pursuing the goal to buy the property. The group will create a community benefit society. DPPS chairman, Woody Alva, said: “It is clear that, even after all the twists and turns, there is still huge support for a community purchase of the Dyke pub.

“There is still a lot do but we are committed to finding a way for the current owners to agree to sell to us.”

The pub, which was put up for sale last month for £1.25 million by owner Martin Webb, was taken off the market last week.

The group received an email from Mr Webb stating that the pub had been withdrawn from the market because of what he called harassment by concerned locals.

An STDP spokeswoman said: “To be crystal clear, our primary – and only – concern is to preserve the integrity of this historic building and ensure that any alterations are in accordance with what can and cannot be carried out.

“Nothing we have done or said in the past year has been personal, or illegal.

“Our focus is solely to get the Dyke pub up and running again.”

“We know the DPPS supporters are passionate about raising the money to make an offer to the owner and we wish them all the best in their community bidding process and look forward to an outcome that works for everyone.”

The pub’s removal from the market is just the latest in the Dyke pub saga.

The pub was Grade II listed by Historic England earlier this month, after being nominated by campaigners concerned about protecting the historic building from any changes by Mr Webb or future owners.

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