The first south east London location for Electric Star Group will open in early 2019 in Bellingham in partnership with Phoenix Community Housing Association.
The Fellowship and Star is a £4 million restoration project granted to Phoneix Community Housing Association by Heritage Lottery Fund to breathe life into the Grade II listed building. Steeped in history, the former Fellowship Inn was the first interwar pub to open on a housing estate. Housing a cinema, theatre, café, pub and music rehearsal space, the project will also create a new community space for the people of South London. The Fellowship and Star will open in early 2019.
Since acquiring their first venue in 2008, Electric Star Group have secured a further four locations, establishing a network of independent venues despite pub closures across the UK. Their pubs offer a safe haven from pretension and trends, concentrating on quality food, drink, people, entertainment and music in venues with character. They currently hold the license for five pubs in Bethnal Green, Leyton, Leytonstone, Hackney Downs and King's Cross.
On the new location Rob Star, Director of Electric Star Group, said:
"I’m really excited to finally be opening a site south of the river. I attended Goldsmiths College in the mid-’90s and spent 8 years living in various parts of south east London, so its great to be back.
The Fellowship has such an amazing history and we are really excited about working with Phoenix to restore this beautiful pub to its former glory and make it an asset that the whole community can enjoy."
The group's latest venture, to be named The Fellowship and Star, was built in the 1920s as part of a ‘Homes for Heroes’ development to ease inner city overcrowding following the First World War. The pub later acted as a training base and home for the heavyweight boxer Henry Cooper ahead of his 1963 fight with Cassius Clay, and its large theatre was graced by bands including Fleetwood Mac and Eric Clapton.
The Fellowship and Star will include a renovated cinema, live music, theatre and comedy venue, café, music hub and rehearsal space and a complete restoration of the 1920s pub. The venue will also serve as a community space, with space available for hire.
Phoenix Chief Executive Jim Ripley said:
“The restoration of the Fellowship is an amazing project that will transform Bellingham, and we’re very excited to be working with Electric Star Group on bringing the pub back as a thriving community venue. It’s going to a fantastic new resource for the community and we can’t wait for the opening.”
Plans for the restored venue were developed after a public consultation by Phoenix and the lottery grant of £4million was confirmed in October 2016. The project will create 70 new jobs, along with at least 45 apprentices over the next 15 years and volunteering opportunities for local people. Alongside the restoration works, the three arts and heritage projects are being delivered to capture the rich history of the building and its community.