Antwerp Arms Association
ANTWERP ARMS ASSOCIATION LTD
From Pub to Community Hub
The Antwerp Arms Association (AAA) was founded in 2013 to save a small heritage public house in Tottenham, London. We bought the pub from a developer to stop it being turned into flats. Funds were raised through a share offer and a grant from the Social Investment Bank. In March 2015 the AAA took on the ‘Annie’ and opened it as North London’s first Community Owned Pub.
We publicised our campaign and share offer locally on Facebook and Twitter. This attracted a vast amount of local and national media, from the BBC to London Live. Our local community choir, the fabulous New Tottenham Singers led by Choir Master Tom Folkes created and produced a promotional video for the sale of shares; ‘Who is Annie’
The AAA now has over 400 Shareholders who elect a Management Committee at an Annual General Meeting (AGM) every September. The AAA employs a full time Manager and part time staff to run the operational side of the business. Volunteers help with community work, maintenance and gardening. The Committee meets monthly and oversees the strategic and community aspects to:
• Improve the local environment
• Increase employment opportunities
• Develop community cohesion
Our 2019 AGM was held on 9th September. Further details can be viewed here.
Current elected committee members are:
Martin Burrows – Chair
Jacquie Hibbert – Secretary
Jeannie McTavish – HR
Nick Allaway – Treasurer
Martin Laheen – Environment / Waste
Mav Highsted – co-opted
From Pub to Community Hub
Following the AGM’s approval at the 2016 AGM to expand the rear of the building, a grant application was submitted to Power to Change for a capital grant towards the costs of an extension and a revenue grant for a part-time Community Engagement Coordinator to develop a Community Programme. The Committee also ran a fundraising campaign to encourage new Shareholders to invest in the scheme.
April 2017 – The AAA was successfully awarded £107,000 (£95,000 capital and £12,000 revenue) plus a further £4,500 for a Business Development Consultant to advise on how the AAA could harness greater community engagement.
May 2017 – The Management Committee began the tendering process for a building company to undertake the work. There were 3 bids. The contract was awarded to a local company D&G Builders in line of our key objective to invest in the local economy.
August 2017 – The demolition phase began at the end of the summer and fortunately one of the Management Committee, an experienced Project Manager, ensured each of the phases was completed on time. Several shareholders came on board to assist with interior décor and we are very grateful for their time and ideas. The build was completed in December 2017.
March 2020 – The pub was closed following the Covid-19 pandemic. During the closure, volunteers cooked and delivered over 1000 hot meals to residents in need.
July 2020 – The pub re-opened with the strictest of safety measures in place to re-assure the public.
As a Community Pub we are committed to being a friendly and welcoming place run by our community FOR our community.
Here are a few examples of our previous community projects and achievements:
- We worked with Friends of Bruce Castle Park to improve the local park
- Sourced Bicycle racks by the pub to encourage cycling
- We decorated the pub frontage and hung flower baskets to upgrade the street view
- Offered space free of charge to local community groups for meetings and events
- With the help of the local community, we staged parties to celebrate the Pub’s first, second, third and fourth birthdays. This raised funds for the Mayor of Haringey’s Charity Appeal as well as funds for local charities
- Members helped our partnership with CRUTCH Haringey to host Community lunches and picnics for those in need
- We hosted children’s Christmas parties and carol singing with the local community choir
- Financed Quiz and Live Music nights to bring people together
- Our staff won CAMRA North London’s Pub of the Season Winter 2015/16 for beer quality and atmosphere
In May 2018 we celebrated our third birthday and the Mayor of Haringey officially opened our new space.
The AAA has developed partnerships with the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust, Friends of Bruce Castle Park, Crutch Haringey, Accenture, Plunkett Foundation, and Reach and Connect, to deliver our objectives. The AAA has also supported the establishment of 2 small catering businesses using our kitchen and fed over 600 people in crisis through its community lunch service.
In May 2016 we formed a formal partnership with local charity, CRUTCH Haringey, which is based in the Tottenham Citizens advice Bureau. They identified several areas that we as a local business, can make a difference to for people in need. With our limited space we initially offered a weekly free hot lunch to 30 people which we wanted to expand to include additional activities such as healthy walks; volunteer gardening and encourage people attend events and activities in our off-peak hours. Our aims were to:
- Provide hot food to people in temporary accommodation
- Provide food to families in crisis
- Bring people together who are isolated through mental health/unemployment
- Raise people’s self-esteem and basic skills through volunteering opportunities
We secured a small grant from the London Evening Standard to employ a Community Cook Coordinator to manage the social lunches and recruited and trained volunteer cooks in Level 2 Food & Hygiene training. We have served over 600 people to date. View community lunches HERE
Friends of Bruce Castle Park
In July 2018, in collaboration with the AAA, Friends of Bruce Castle Park hosted a family picnic in the park, with live music from around the world. The team have hosted several free community events including music, poetry and Easter Hunt.
In December 2017 several teams at Accenture sponsored cooked and served three of our community lunches as well as family picnics in Bruce Castle Park in August 2018, providing free meals for families with games in the park.
In December 2019, the Accenture team again served up delicious traditional festive feast with Christmas crackers, sweet treats and a raffle in partnership with Reach and Connect, a new service for Haringey residents age 50+. Reach and Connect supports people to live a healthy life, which includes encouraging them to participate in social events.
“It was a wonderful day” said Nita who lives on her own “I met other people, played dominoes and have found out about a lunch club and yoga in the park”
Read more HERE
“We love what you do for the community each week and we felt really honoured to be able to join you. The feedback from our team has been fantastic and we are so glad we were able to help out, even in a small way” – Ewan Mackay, Accenture
In October 2017, the Well Communities Fund, awarded Sharing Earth a grant of £3,000 to re-design the pub garden which was concrete slabs and a fence, into an ‘edible garden’ through a series of 15 workshops showing local people how to grow their own food in a small space. The sessions were well- attended and the result is a beautiful oasis which is still being cared for by the volunteers once a week and provides the kitchen with fresh salad and herbs.