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London gay bar Royal Vauxhall Tavern ‘saved’: Lease signed for 20 more years

London gay bar Royal Vauxhall Tavern ‘saved’: Lease signed for 20 more years

The RVT Royal Vauxhall Tavern in South London

Historic London gay bar Royal Vauxhall Tavern has secured its future for the next two decades.

The RVT has signed a 20 year lease with the property company, Immovate.

The new lease replaces the older short term lease. This was due to expire in 2019.

However, it does not prevent the bar from being sold.

Royal Vauxhall Tavern lease signed for 20 more years

A statement from the RVT team said they were ‘delighted’ with the new secure terms.

‘We remain committed to ensuring the preservation of our history and culture,’ James Lindsay, the CEO of the RVT, said.

‘We’ll continue to offer the same diverse programme, continuing the vibrancy and success of the RVT.

‘We hope the RVT continues to be the bedrock of the LGBTQI+ scene as a space that is created by its community for its community.’

The Royal Vauxhall Tavern has faced a troubled past.

As the most famous cabaret bar in London, the venue has faced numerous attempts to take it over.

Protections and takeover attempts

In 2017, straight bar company Faucet Inns attempted to buy the club. This was the same pub chain that closed the queer cabaret venue in Camden, the Black Cap.

However, campaigners from RVT Future was able to apply for Sui Generis.

This status ensures the RVT is protected as a mixed nightclub, bar and performance space.

An RVT Future spokesperson told us, however, it would be impossible to ensure the venue is only used by LGBTQ people.

‘We welcome this news,’ Rob Holley, from RVT Future, said.

‘We hope this stability will allow community to flourish, and give James Lindsay the certainty he needs to be able to invest in the world’s oldest LGBTQ+ venue.

‘However, the situation is still very complicated. The building remains owned by [Immovate] and at some stage they will try to sell it again.’

RVT Future says they believe the only way to secure the bar’s future is when it’s owned by the community.

A Immovate spokesperson previously confirmed they would not be selling the bar.

They said the company was ‘delighted to hold the Royal Vauxhall Tavern as a long-term investment and believes in its prospects as a well-established venue for entertainment’.

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