Local residents, historians and pub campaigners are celebrating after the Trafalgar Arms pub on Tooting High Street completed its dramatic reprieve.
The pub was purchased by a developer and closed in the summer of 2013, and soon after plans were submitted for the demolition of the historic building and conversion into flats. Local residents and community groups who used the pub and opposed its loss formed the Tooting Arms Supporters and were successful in their application to have the pub listed as an Asset of Community Value by Wandsworth Council.
After a long period of behind-the-scenes discussions, Young’s Brewery received its license for the Trafalgar Arms in December 14 and has just completed its purchase of the site from the developer. Young’s now plans to invest £1million to restore the site and reopen the pub, retaining its historic frontage.
Dan Watkins, who led the Trafalgar Arms Supporters campaign, said:
‘The pub was a popular meeting place for local residents and staff from St George’s Hospital, as well as many other local groups, so it's fantastic news that it will soon reopen, preserving this piece of community space and cultural heritage in Tooting. This is the third Asset of Community Value we have saved from development and just goes to show what we can achieve using the new powers given to communities by the Localism Act.
Young’s is a popular local pub company with historic ties to Wandsworth and its investment in the site will create new jobs and add to the burgeoning Tooting scene’.
Peter Soden, a local resident and fellow Supporter, commented:
‘Young’s have made a big success of their renovation of The Castle pub on Tooting High Street and I’m sure they can restore the Trafalgar to its former glory'.
Brendan Brammer, Acquisitions Manager for Young’s, said:
‘We have been on the look-out for available pub sites with strong local followings and an Asset of Community Value listing is a good marker for this. When we saw that the Trafalgar Arms in Tooting was listed as an ACV we were interested to explore further and that has ultimately led to our purchase of the pub.
We’d like to thank the Trafalgar Arms Supporters for their support with our licensing application and look forward to welcoming the whole community to the newly refurbished Trafalgar Arms when it opens later this year.’