Lewisham's first community owned live music pub!

by Sister Midnight in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

We did it
On 3rd March 2022 we successfully raised £261,810 with 865 investors in 178 days

Sister Midnight is a not-for-profit organisation on a mission to create Lewisham's first community-owned live music pub #SavetheRavensbourne

by Sister Midnight in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

*UPDATE* 

Our share offer is closing on 3rd of March at 9pm. 

Stripe, the company that processes payments on behalf of Crowdfunder, has a limit of 180 days on how long it can hold our investors funds, and we're reaching the end of that timeframe.

Unfortunately with a competing buyer in the picture, we haven't yet been able to get an offer agreed on the Ravensbourne Arms. We're not ready to give up the fight just yet! 

We're planning to draw down the money we have raised and put it in a separate bank account from the one we use for day to day expenses. We’ll continue to work towards Plan A, securing the Ravensbourne Arms, but we’ll also explore other potential venues to make sure that we stand the best possible chance of making Lewisham’s first community owned music venue a reality. 

What we guarantee is:

1) Any new site that we consider will be in Lewisham Borough 

And ideally as close to the Ravensbourne Arms as possible. 

2) We will revise the business plan and clearly identify any changes that affect your investment in fundamental ways, such as:

- the location of the venue we want to purchase

- the return we aspire to offer you as investors

- the timescale before we can start to allow money to be returned to you

3)  We won’t spend any of the money without giving you a chance to review any new proposals 

If you don’t want to continue with your investment after any changes to the proposals, we’ll return your investment, less any fees incurred (please read on for an explainer on this).

If after 12 months we’ve been unable to move things forward, or it becomes clear at any point before then that we just can’t make the numbers stack up between grants, loans and your investments, then we’ll return the money to everyone. However, as we will have drawn down the money, we will incur Crowdfunder’s charges of 7.7% plus whatever other one-off admin charges or bank fees we might have incurred. This means that by continuing with your investment, there is a chance that the project might be unsuccessful and you would only get back 92.3% of the money you put in. The same applies if you decide to withdraw your investment in the future on the basis of new proposals being put forward.

We’ll continue to be completely transparent about any changes or developments with the project. We’re here to answer any questions you might have, and if you’d like to chat more before making a decision about investing, please get in touch with us at [email protected] 

We want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has supported us this far. We know how important it is for our community to have a space for creative culture that can’t be taken away from us by greedy landlords or property developers. We’re more confident than ever that we can make this happen. We’ve shown what our community can achieve when we work together, so let's keep going and make Lewisham’s first community owned music venue a reality.

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Welcome to our community share offer. We're offering our community the chance to invest in our proposal to bring the Ravensbourne Arms pub in Lewisham into Community Ownership, transforming it into a not-for-profit grassroots live music pub. 

Our mission at Sister Midnight is to create an accessible, affordable and inclusive grassroots music venue and community pub, where people can come together and enjoy the best of South East London’s diverse and cutting edge music culture.

The challenges faced by grassroots music venues, most notably the recent COVID-19 pandemic, have made it clear as day - if we want to make sure that there will still be places to experience live music, then the communities that use these venues need to have ownership of them. That’s why we’re asking our community to invest in Sister Midnight, and help us create Lewisham’s first community owned live music pub.

When you invest in shares you’ll become a member of our society with voting rights, giving you a say on how things are done. You’ll also become an owner of the society's assets alongside other members, meaning you could become a co-owner of the Ravensbourne Arms.

It’s time to protect our music venues, so let’s work together as a community to save the Ravensbourne Arms, and create a truly grassroots space where we put local music and local people at the heart of what we do.

- Lenny, Sophie and Verity, Founders of Sister Midnight 

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Sister Midnight's Community Share Offer

Sister Midnight wants to bring the Ravensbourne Arms into community ownership and seeks to raise a minimum of £500K in share capital, with the rest of the project costs being raised through grants and commercial loans.

  • Minimum share subscription per person: £100
  • Maximum share subscription per person: £100,000 or 10% of the total raised, whichever is lower
  • Maximum share subscription per organisation (which is not a society): £100,000
  • Interest of 3% paid annually from year 2 onwards
  • Withdrawal of capital targeted from year 3 onwards
  • Minimum Target to be Raised: £500,000

Opening date: 6th September 2021 - Closing date: 20th December 2021. 

We're also making a limited number of affordable £25 shares available to those on low incomes to ensure that everyone has a chance to become a member of our society and be a part of the Ravensbourne Arms. If you'd like to be considered for an affordable share, please fill out the application form here.

What happens if we don't meet our target?

If we don't meet our target, Crowdfunder will hold any funds raised for a short time to allow us to look for other sources of funding that could make up any shortfall. If we cannot proceed with the project for any reason, then all pledges would be refunded in full.

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Our Vision

We want to transform the Ravensbourne Arms into a thriving community live music pub; serving locally produced ales and a classic Sunday lunch, as well as delivering a diverse and cutting-edge live music programme. Building upon Sister Midnight’s legacy, we’ll continue to provide a vital platform for emerging talent, championing the trailblazing local music scenes that have cemented Lewisham’s cultural status in recent years. 

The Ravensbourne Arms will be more than just a live music pub. We’ll make it a true community hub, working to further social good and positive change in the wider community, guided by our core organisational values of accessibility, affordability, ethics, fair pay, inclusivity, ownership, and sustainability.

With Lewisham having been designated “London Borough of Culture 2022”, there has never been a better time to create a space for Lewisham’s music culture to thrive and grow, and bring our community together in celebration of the incredible creative talent that our borough is home to.

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“As the MP for Lewisham Deptford I am pleased to support Sister Midnight's project to take over the Ravensbourne Arms as a Community Benefit Society.

This is such an amazing opportunity to revive a currently unused venue in a way which puts the community it is based in at its heart and provide exciting cultural opportunities which are accessible for local residents.

I am also happy to see such a great project lead by young women,
who are too often not at the forefront of projects like these”

Vicky Foxcroft, MP for Lewisham Deptford

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About Us

Sister Midnight was established in 2018 as a grassroots music venue, record shop and cafe based in Deptford, South East London, providing a vital platform for emerging musical talent, and a place where people from all walks of life could come together in celebration of South East London’s music culture. We quickly became an important part of our thriving local music scene, attracting a diverse array of acts and regularly selling out shows. 

Unfortunately, the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to leave our space in Deptford, in search of a new home. Grassroots music venues are more likely to succeed when they are owned by the communities they exist in. This is why we want to create Lewisham’s first community owned live music pub, and create a culturally important space that will be sustainable long-term. 

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The Ravensbourne Arms

Located just south of the bustling Lewisham Centre, the Ravensbourne Arms is a detached public house built in 1934, although there has been a public house on this site since the 1750’s. 

The Ravensbourne Arms has thrived in the past, having previously been a Time Out Pub of the Year finalist. Sadly, the pub closed in 2016 after it was sold to private property developers who intended to convert the site for residential use. Although the upper two floors of the building have been converted into seven flats, Lewisham Council have declined to grant planning permission for a change of use, citing the community importance of the pub as a factor in this decision.

We want to buy the freehold of the pub, including the newly renovated flats above, bringing it into community ownership and preserving an important community asset for future generations. 

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What is a Community Benefit Society?

Sister Midnight Community Venues Limited is the Community Benefit Society that we have formed in order to continue Sister Midnight’s work and establish Lewisham’s first community owned live music pub. 

A Community Benefit Society is a not-for-profit business structure that is owned and democratically controlled by the community it serves. Community benefit societies can issue community shares, and anyone who buys shares becomes a member of the society with voting rights, giving them a say on how the business is run. The society operates on the democratic co-operative principles of one member, one vote, so voting power can never be bought.

What are Community Shares?

Community Shares are a form of withdrawable share capital that can only be issued by co-operative and community benefit societies. Investing in a community business by purchasing community shares provides them with the capital they need to grow. Societies can pay a modest level of interest on share capital, and you can withdraw your shares and get your money back, subject to the rules of the society.

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Levels of Investment

£25 or more

£25 Donation

The Ravensbourne is at risk as we urgently need to raise money to fund an offer on the pub. Donate £25 or more, and help us save the Ravensbourne Arms. This is a donation, not a share investment.

£50 or more

£50 Donation

The Ravensbourne is at risk as we urgently need to raise money to fund an offer on the pub. Donate £25 or more, and help us save the Ravensbourne Arms. This is a donation, not a share investment.

£100 or more

£100 Investment

Invest £100 in Sister Midnight, and you'll become a member of our society and a part owner of the Ravensbourne Arms, alongside other members.

£200 or more

£200 Investment

Invest £200 in Sister Midnight, and you'll become a member of our society and a part owner of the Ravensbourne Arms, alongside other members.

£300 or more

9 of 10 claimed

£300 Investment & Document Your Culture Reward

Invest £300 in Sister Midnight, and you'll become a member of our society and a part owner of the Ravensbourne Arms, alongside other members. You'll also get a signed copy of Emma Warren's pamphlet 'Document Your Culture".

£400 or more

9 of 20 claimed

£400 Investment & Footshooter Reward

Invest £400 and you'll become a member of our society and a part owner of the Ravensbourne Arms, alongside other members. You'll also get a signed vinyl copy of Footshooter's 2017 EP "Strange Days".

£500 or more

17 of 20 claimed

£500 Investment & Gig entry Reward

Invest £500 and you'll become a member of our society and a part owner of the Ravensbourne Arms, alongside other members. You'll also get free entry for two people to a gig of your choice at the Ravensbourne Arms and two drinks on the house, any time in the first six months after we open.

£500 or more

£500 Investment

Invest £500 and you'll become a member of our society and a part owner of the Ravensbourne Arms, alongside other members.

£1,000 or more

4 of 5 claimed

£1,000 Investment & Stroke City Reward

Invest £1,000 and you'll become a member of our society and a part owner of the Ravensbourne Arms, alongside other members. You'll also get a 7" vinyl copy of Italia 90's single "Stroke City", signed and illustrated by the band.

£1,000 or more

£1000 Investment

Invest £1,000 and you'll become a member of our society and a part owner of the Ravensbourne Arms, alongside other members.

£2,500 or more

3 of 5 claimed

£2,500 Investment & Reward

Invest £2,500 and you'll become a member of our society and a part owner of the Ravensbourne Arms, alongside other members. You'll also get an INCREDIBLY RARE Speedy Wunderground test pressing, choose from SW001, SW006, SW029, SW033 and SW036.

£7,500 or more

0 of 1 claimed

£7,500 Investment & Reward

Invest £7,500 and you'll become a member of our society and a part owner of the Ravensbourne Arms, alongside other members. You'll a round of drinks and entry to a gig of your choice for 10 people at the Ravensbourne Arms.

£10,000 or more

0 of 1 claimed

£10,000 Investment & Reward

Invest £10,000 and you'll become a member of our society and a part owner of the Ravensbourne Arms, alongside other members. You'll also get 2 x Adult Weekend Tickets for the 2022 edition of award winning UK festival 'End of the Road', and a round of drinks at the Ravensbourne Arms for you and 4 friends!

£20,000 or more

0 of 1 claimed

£20,000 Investment & Reward

Invest £20,000 and you'll become a member of our society and a part owner of the Ravensbourne Arms, alongside other members. You'll also become the lucky owner of an original painting by Toby & Aiden Evans-Jesra, which was used as the cover art for Goat Girl's second album "On All Fours", as well as a copy of the album on vinyl, signed with a personal message for you by the Goats themselves.

£50,000 or more

0 of 2 claimed

£50,000 Investment & Reward

Invest £50,000 and you'll become a member of our society and a part owner of the Ravensbourne Arms, alongside other members. You'll also get FREE ENTRY TO EVERY GIG at the Ravensbourne Arms FOR LIFE, as well as a Sunday Lunch for 8 people on a date of your choice.

£100 or more

30 of 30 claimed

£100 Investment & Gift Card

Invest £100 or more as a gift and the lucky recipient of your investment will become a member of our society and a part owner of the Ravensbourne Arms, alongside other members. We'll also send you a greetings card that has information inside about what it means to be a co-owner of the Ravensbourne Arms. Just tick the box at checkout that says "This Investment is a Gift"!

£1,000 or more

2 of 2 claimed

£1000 Investment & Festival ticket Reward

Invest £1,000 and you'll become a member of our society and a part owner of the Ravensbourne Arms, alongside other members. You'll also get a pair of Adult 3 Day Tickets to either ArcTanGent Festival 2022 OR 2000Trees Festival 2022!

£1,000 or more

3 of 3 claimed

£1000 Investment & Beekeeping Reward

Invest £1,000 and you'll become a member of our society and a part owner of the Ravensbourne Arms, alongside other members. You'll also get a 1 hour beekeeping experience at Deptford Railway Meadow!

£5,000 or more

1 of 1 claimed

£5,000 Investment & Reward

Invest £5,000 and you'll become a member of our society and a part owner of the Ravensbourne Arms, alongside other members. You'll also get an exclusive reward package from South London band Tiña, including: a signed 7" vinyl of their 2019 single "I Feel Fine", a vinyl pressing of their 2020 Album "Positive Mental Health Music" with a signed insert, and a size L Speedy Wunderground long sleeve top in the bands signature colour, pink.

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