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The Royal Vauxhall Tavern could be sold to the same chain that closed The Black Cap in Camden

By Stephanie Hartman

It's been announced today that the Faucet Inn pub chain which closed down LGBT pub The Black Cap in Camden back in 2015 after failing to get planning permission to turn the top floors into flats, is in talks to buy the Royal Vauxhall Tavern. Already in possession of 11 bars in London, it is now in negotiations to acquire the Grade II listed cabaret venue which regularly sees nights such as Duckie and drag courses hosted there.

Night Czar, Amy Lamé has been heading up a campaign for the last two years to keep the landmark pub functioning as a gay bar and performance space, with celebrities including Graham Norton, Sir Ian McKellen and Paul O'Grady backing it. Earlier in the month, Lambeth council also awarded the pub 'sui generis' classification meaning it's protected from having the top floors converted into flats.

This all sounds pretty positive, as does its status as an Asset of Community Value, but the issue now is that Austrian property company Immovate which currently owns the building is trying to sell a controlling interest of shares in the holding company, rather than the building itself. This ultimately means ownership of the pub can be transferred without triggering ACV legislation and the community would be left with no time to raise funds to buy the pub themselves.

Talks are apparently only in the early stages and the Faucet Inn's managing director Steve Cox has stated they were being conducted with 'due diligence'. 

Find out more about the crowdfunding campaign for a community buy-out of the Royal Vauxhall Tavern here.

In better news, there are plans to re-open iconic LGBT pub The Black Cap.

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