A last ditch effort to save a pub in Tottenham by a community group has succeeded following a £20,000 donation from a secret supporter with just hours to go.
The Antwerp Arms was set to be converted into flats unless £125,000 was raised by the community to save it.
But members of the Antwerp Arms Association smashed the funding target shortly before the midday deadline and have now been given a two week extension to raise extra cash.
The group wrote on their website: “Big thanks to everyone. We have reached our minimum target of £125,000 before the deadline of noon today.
“As we have had such amazing support and huge surge in our funds, we have been granted an extension until 5th June to improve our chances of reaching our maximum target.”
The group have received backing from Tottenham Hotspur FC in nearby White Hart Lane with former Spurs defender Gary Mabutt on hand this morning to help pull pints.
“As a Club with strong ties to its local community and fanbase, we recognise the important role that the Antwerp Arms plays in terms of providing a popular meeting place for supporters on a matchday, as well as being part of the area’s heritage," the Club said in an official statement. "The Club, along with our Supporters Trust, is therefore delighted to have shown its support for the Antwerp Arms Association.”
Local MP David Lammy has also bought shares in the pub. He said: "I've been involved in this campaign from the start, first to stop the Antwerp Arms from being knocked down, and then to turn it into a real community asset. I've just bought a share in the pub, not just as the local MP but as a local resident.
"This is one of the oldest pubs in North London - older, even, than Tottenham Hotspur. I'd encourage all Londoners to buy a share and become part of history."
A last minute £20,000 donation was also made by a secret supporter.
A total of £250,000 was needed to save the pub from being converted into housing.
The group needed to raise a total of £125,000, with the rest of the money coming from a Social Investment Business grant and a loan from community finance group.
An extension has now been granted allowing the group to reach £175,000, meaning £50,000 will not need to be borrowed from the Co-op banking society.
The pub to be listed as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) in summer 2013 following an application by the group, giving them the right to buy it if it was put on the market.