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Bellingham's Green Man pub gets new lease of life as Phoenix hub
A BELLINGHAM pub which lay empty and derelict for years has finally been given a new lease of life as headquarters for a housing association.
The Green Man community hub on Bromley Road was officially opened this week and saw a special guest appearance from co-founder of the Leon restaurant chain Allegra McEvedy.
She hosted a cookery demonstration for school children and apprentices in the hub's community training kitchen, all soundtracked by the tasty tunes of the London Vegetable Orchestra.
The hub, run by Phoenix Community Housing and including their offices, also has a cafe, community spaces, offices for Lewisham Plus Credit Union and a barn for event hire.
It will also host an outdoor market and offer a range of apprenticeships for people in the area.
Phoenix, a housing organisation set up by residents in 2007, hopes the facility will boost opportunities and life chances for people in an area where employment levels are lower than the national average.
Chief executive Jim Ripley said: "The Green Man is part of the promise that we made to residents when Phoenix was created in 2007. It demonstrates our commitment to regenerating south Lewisham and creating a better future for everyone who lives and works here.
"In recent years, as in other parts of London, we’ve witnessed the closure of social centres, pubs and other local facilities. The Green Man will restore the social space and community spirit of the old pub, while offering people in south Lewisham better chances in life.
"The launch of The Green Man is a proud moment for me and for everyone who has been involved in the project over the last few years.
"We believe the building and its facilities will create a lasting legacy, making south Lewisham a destination that people want to come to and an area where people feel proud to live."
For more information visit phoenixch.org.uk
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