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The countdown to a new cinema and cultural venue for Lewisham is now underway as our multimillion pound restoration of Bellingham's historic grade II listed Fellowship Inn begins.
Phoenix Community Housing has appointed Ash Contracting Ltd to complete our Heritage Lottery funded restoration and refurbishment of the pub , following a competitive tender process which began earlier this year.
The works, which will begin in late September and are expected to last up to 12 months, will see the delivery of an 80 seat cinema, pub, theatre and performance venue, microbrewery and music hub.
Phoenix purchased the historic, grade II listed pub in 2013, and our plans to restore the largely derelict 1920s pub were developed in consultation with the community, with more than 1,400 responses from residents in the area.
We were awarded £4.2million from the Heritage Lottery Fund last year. This funding will enable us to restore the pub and to deliver a range of arts and performance projects that will celebrate the history of the building and the surrounding area.
The Fellowship was built as part of the new Bellingham ‘Home for Heroes’ estate in the 1920s, and the pub has played host to musical legends including the likes of Fleetwood Mac and Eric Clapton. In the 1960s Bellingham boy and champion boxer Sir Henry Cooper lived and trained at the pub in the run up to his fight with Muahmmed Ali (then Cassius Clay).
The project will create 70 new jobs, along with at least 45 apprenticeships over the next 15 years. A number of construction apprenticeships will also be available and these will be advertised within the coming months.
Phoenix Chief Executive, Jim Ripley said: “Phoenix bought The Fellowship Inn in 2013, and since then we’ve been working with the community to develop plans for the pub’s future.
“We’re delighted to have appointed Ash Contracting Ltd, who bring with them significant experience and expertise in the restoration of heritage buildings like the Fellowship and who share our ambitions for the building and for Bellingham and the wider area.
“I’m so looking forward to seeing works progress, and this magical building restored for everyone to enjoy – watch this space!”
Ash Contracting Ltd Director, Peter Seex said: “The Fellowship Inn is an incredible building that will offer a huge range of opportunity and entertainment to Bellingham and the surrounding area.
“We’ve thrilled to have been awarded this contract and we’re looking forward to working with Phoenix and the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore this fantastic old building and deliver an incredible new facility for the community.”