The George Tavern, a historic London venue located in the East End, has been saved after years of campaigning.
The Grade II listed building has been fighting closure for a number of years following a string of noise complaints coming from new housing developments situated nearby.
Located on Commercial Road in Stepney, the building still contains some of the original brickwork which was put in place some 700 years ago. Given the iconic status of the building, which has seen it mentioned in texts by Geoffrey Chaucer and Charles Dickens, a number of high profile names such as Sir Ian McKellan and John Cooper Clarke joined the fight to keep the venue open.
Now, in a landmark ruling, they have managed to secure a Deed of Easement bill which marks on the second time in British history that a venue has been awarded the bill.
“We’re thrilled to announce that, after years of campaigning, The George Tavern has officially been saved,” the venue wrote on its Facebook page. “Yesterday, the deed of easement proposal was accepted by Tower Hamlets Council, protecting our live music operation,” they added.
“We thank Ed Bayes, Culture at Risk Officer, in particular for all his efforts as well as Amy Lamé, Paul Broadhurst, Music Venue Trust and many more. Our achievements have set an important precedent in emboldening the Agent of Change principle for venues across the country.”
A planned celebration party at the George Tavern has been planned for March 15th.
Pauline Forster, who runs the George Tavern, explained her joy at the victory but also remained determined to keep the community happy: “The worry of having neighbours close by who might make noise complaints was a real threat for the George. We could have lost our licence almost immediately. The security of the Deed of Easement is fantastic for us and for other pubs and venues, who stand to benefit from this as well,” she said in a statement.
She added: “I’m so happy with the result and really thankful to all our supporters, Tim and the planning officials at Tower Hamlets.”