Nottingham

Beacon pub in St Ann's to become community centre

Beacon pub, St Ann's
Image caption The group is asking people to help paint and tidy the site on Saturday 17 August
St Ann's Projects community garden
Image caption St Ann's Projects has already turned unused land into a community garden
Inside the Beacon pub
Image caption Needles and used condoms have been found inside the pub

A derelict pub which has attracted drugs users and fly-tippers is to be turned into a creative community centre by a group of volunteers.

The same group has already turned a nearby patch of land in St Ann's, Nottingham, into a community garden.

The garden has been credited with stopping vandalism and drug use and improving community ties.

Now the group, called St Ann's Projects, hopes to do the same with the Beacon pub.

Carly Williams from the group said: "I've lived in this area for eight or nine years and I think in that time it was reopened once, but closed really quickly after that.

"It's kind of a derelict no man's land, but hopefully that's going to change."

'Drug use gone'

The owner of the pub has handed it over to the group for an initial trial period of nine months.

The lease has been signed by Robert Howie Smith, who has restored several other derelict buildings in Nottingham.

The group is asking people to help paint and tidy the site at a community event on Saturday 17 August.

Nearby resident Aidan Brearley, who has helped with the community garden, said: "Vandalism and drug use was unfortunately prolific around there; it has now gone.

"No intervention from the law, just the community being proud of their space, it has naturally moved away."

Resident Yvonne Cornejo, who has also helped with the garden, said: "The impact has been overwhelmingly positive, knitting ties among people, and has especially had a positive impact on the local kids.

"I definitely think the Beacon could be a positive space for the local community."

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