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Fight to keep Mello Mello - again

Building up for sale and 'attracting a lot of interest'

Published on April 5th 2013.

Fight to keep Mello Mello - again

IF sweat counted for equity, the people behind Mello Mello would be laughing all the way to the bank. But it doesn't.

The building was a nothing short of a bombsite when Greg Scott Gurner and co  took it over in 2007. Nobody wanted it and nobody cared.

Now that's all changed and fans of this grassroots creative honeypot and excellent bar are being asked to dig into their pockets if they want to keep it.

The building has been put up for sale as part of the “Ropewalks Portfolio” with MelloMello CIC having recently had an offer for the purchase of the building accepted! Great news.

Well partly. There's just the question of raising a deposit.


Interest in the building is high and action needs to be swift, they say, if the community is to the prevent the building falling into the hands of commercial developers or corporations looking to turn the property into another chain bar, a supermarket  or, even worse, a corporate hipster venue with bouncers and a bad door attitude (you know who you are).

So they have launched and appeal which we are backing, because this lot don't walk away from a fight.

Mello says it has already secured £10,000 from friends and staff keen to see the building remain in the hands of those who resurrected it from its near derelict status five years ago, turning it into one of Liverpool's most cherished independent cafe bars and venues with nothing more than hard graft and a dare to be different.

They need £30k more and have launched a fundraising campaign where anyone can donate any amount of money for the cause, with a number of limited edition perks available for those who pledge certain amounts.

For example, they say, donating £15 will get you a specially created MelloMello mug, whilst £40 will get you, erm, a limited edition Bido Lito bundle. £1,000 will get you a free pass to absolutely everything that goes on at MelloMello and £2,500 will get you your own catered private “lock in” in the bar. What, just the one?

They have set the target based on the 10,000 people who signed the petition to save MelloMello last year donating £3 each. That is less than the price of a pint.

However, the more money raised the greater the chance of securing a mortgage and keeping MelloMello for good.

MelloMello is a registered Community Interest Company, a not-for-profit social enterprise committed to facilitating and promoting grassroots artistic endeavours. As well as the vegetarian cafe, well-stocked bar and popular performance venue the MelloMello building also houses a music rehearsal and recording studio, artists' studio space and offices.

Manager Rob Longson says: "This is the community's chance to put an end to the endless speculation around the future of the building and ensure that Liverpool keeps this unique, culturally enriching enterprise alive for years to come."

Go to igg.me/at/mellomello now to donate and to check out the diverse list of rewards. 

When it's gone, it's gone.

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Rob DansonApril 9th 2013.

I don't quite understand the nature of these donations. Who owns the property and where is this £30k going? If it is a not-for-profit organisation, what happens if this property is ever sold? The definition of a social enterprise is quite vague - if you are serious about raising that amount you need to explain the details of this "investment". Perhaps you should be aiming for collective/community ownership for a properly alternative model of operation.

LarryApril 12th 2013.

MelloMello explain this in their contributions webpage:

"What Happens If We're Unsuccesful?

There is always the risk that MelloMello's offer to purchase the building will be beaten by a massive cash-rich company or individual. The larger a deposit we can raise, the more chance we have of getting our mortgage deposit sorted. However, should things go wrong any money raised by this campaign will be used to continue the business either in the current building under new landlords (should they allow us to stay) or somewhere new (in Liverpool)".

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