Friends of the Joiners Arms is… a campaign to save and evolve The Joiners Arms on Hackney Road, so that it becomes London’s first community-run, late-license LGBTQI+ pub.
Friends of the Joiners Arms was formulated in late 2014 in response to the threatened closure of our favourite late-licence, radical, grungey queer pub. The pub was closed in January 2015 by developers and was due to be demolished to build a new luxury housing development. However, we have successfully campaigned to save the pub, ensuring the inclusion of a late-licence queer venue on the site of the Joiners Arms.
After a long hard battle, in late 2017, the Tower Hamlets council granted permission to develop the site as long as the following conditions were met: a pub must be included in the new development, which should be run as an LGBTQI+ venue with a lease of 25 years, and with opening hours mirroring those of the original pub. Further, the developers should pay for the first year’s rent and contribute to the fit-out costs of the new venue.
Friends of the Joiners Arms will become a not-for-profit Community Benefit Society, run by its members but for the community, and will bid for the lease on the new pub. Join us to make this happen and be part of changing the face of queer London.
Friends of the Joiners Arms believe… that our cities should not be shaped by whoever has the money to buy them, and that a strong community could stand up to threats to our spaces.
- “In safeguarding an LGBTQ+ venue for the next quarter of a century, and removing proposed limits to opening hours, we are pleased that the council and the developer have agreed with us that the community needs a space to express ourselves, to drink, dance, love and learn…”
Peter Cragg, campaigner for Friends of the Joiners Arms, 12th October 2017.
- “Our campaign shows that it is always worth fighting for the things that are important to you and your community. We have always known that this is part of a much wider struggle over who controls urban space, and have always taken the view that our changing urban landscape should be decided by the people who live, work and socialise in our cities.”
Dan Laverick, campaigner for Friends of the Joiners Arms, 12th October, 2017.
Friends of the Joiners Arms’ mission is… to empower Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual (LGBTQIA) people by building and maintaining a strong and inclusive community.
To achieve this we want to:
- Provide a public space for the benefit of LGBTQIA people and their ideas;
- Act as a supporter for other community groups;
- Provide information, advice and guidance to LGBTQIA people;
- Promote diversity by challenging discrimination and oppression.