'Unassuming local treasure': One-room Kings Cross pub listed as asset of community value

Chairman of North London CAMRA Colin Coyne (left), barman of The King Charles, Dean Corton and pub shareholder Sue Smallwood

Chairman of North London CAMRA Colin Coyne (left), barman of The King Charles, Dean Corton and pub shareholder Sue Smallwood - Credit:  North London Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA)

A wood panelled one-room boozer in Kings Cross has been listed as an asset of community value.

Regulars at King Charles the First in Northdown Street bought the pub themselves six years ago when it was put up for sale, to make sure their beloved local didn't fall into the hands of developers. 

In 2015 they raised £70,000 to bid for the leasehold, and the group has been running it ever since.

Now their nomination to have it listed under the Localism Act has been successful with Islington Council, which agreed the building is used to "further the social wellbeing and social interests of the local community".

One of them, Sue Smallwood, told the Gazette: "While the lockdown has had an effect on all small business in this sector, the Charles has not only managed to emerge in one piece, but has also been given an extra boost being listed by the council as an asset of community value. 


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"As well as applying for this status in order to gain strength - ensuring the site could not change its usage in the future, like being turned into flats, or a coffee shop, it was also intended to acknowledge the loyalty and dedication of the staff and customers who make this wonderful and unassuming local treasure what it is.

"The accolade has certainly lifted the post-lockdown spirits of the staff, shareholders and regulars, for whom the local is at the heart of the community. 

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"To celebrate further, there will be an official unveiling of the ACV plaque towards the end of September by the Mayor of Islington, Councillor Troy Gallagher."

Before Covid struck, the pub would host events and gigs from scores of independent musicians and performers.

The Tollington Arms was also listed as an asset of community value by Islington Council this year, protecting it from being turned into flats by developers.

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