India Club hits £50,000 crowdfunding target to fight eviction battle

16 April 2021 by
India Club hits £50,000 crowdfunding target to fight eviction battle

The India Club in London has successfully met its £50,000 crowdfunding target to raise funds to fight its eviction battle.

This week, the restaurant and bar raised £49,381, along with over £7,000 in Gift Aid, from 1,597 supporters in 83 days.

The India Club restaurant and bar at 143-145 the Strand, the same building as the Hotel Strand Continental, was served with a notice to vacate the premises by Marston Properties back in January 2021. The crowdfund campaign was set up by the family to raise money to pay for legal costs to fight against the decision.

A message on the crowdfund page reads: "We are incredibly grateful for the love and support received to help us reach our initial target. However, as we begin our legal fight, we need to continue raising more funds to stay afloat in the current economic climate. Please keep sharing and contributing so we can meet our stretch target, which includes our estimated total legal fees. Any extra funds raised or costs recovered will go to our rent costs and be a much needed lifeline during these uncertain times. Thank you very much."

The India Club was established more than 50 years ago by Krishna Menon, India's first high commissioner to the UK, with founding members Lady Mountbatten and Prime Minister Nehru. It was a meeting place for leading figures associated with post-independent India.

Three generations of the Marker family have run the India Club for the last 23 years. It is now run by proprietor Yadgar Marker and his daughter, general manager Phiroza Marker.

In 2018, Westminster City Council rejected the landlord's previous redevelopment plans, but the family said the landlord seeks to modernise the building and run its own hotel from the property, or threatens an 80% increase in rent.

A spokesperson from Marston Properties said earlier this year: "Marston Properties is proud to have been investing in buildings in London for over 125 years. We have owned an interest in the building since 1981 and originally purchased it with the intention of running the hotel one day. For some time, we have been concerned about the viability and condition of the building. Many options have been explored over the last few years to resolve these issues including seeking planning permission for two different redevelopment schemes. We have had many discussions with Goldsand Hotels but have been unable to achieve a mutually agreeable solution with them. As the landlord we are entitled, following the expiry of Goldsand Hotels' lease, to regain possession to occupy the building for our own business use and therefore notice was served on Goldsand Hotels in August 2020."

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