Stroud Town Council is calling on people interested in keeping the Subscription Rooms open to get in touch.
More than 50 people turned out to a public meeting to discuss what they think should happen to the venue.
Stroud District Council, which owns and runs the venue, revealed that the Sub Rooms’ future is under review following cuts in government funding.
It is considering three options: retain the venue as it is within Stroud District Council, disposing of the freehold or offer a leasehold interest in the venue or closure and selling the venue on the open market.
Those attending the meeting were overwhelming in favour of either the district council or town council holding the freehold of the venue and offering the leasehold to a community interest group or trust.
Town Councillor Lucas Schoemaker said the Town Council didn’t have the resources or the expertise to take over the venue.
“The arts have played an important role in Stroud’s history. The arts have made Stroud what it is now and the Sub Rooms is the jewel in the crown,” he said.
“The Town Council is trying to facilitate a solution where the Sub Rooms fits into the range of venues in the town centre. But the Town Council has neither the resources or the expertise to do this on its own.
“We want to get those people together who have the expertise and find a way to move forward.”
District councillor Doina Cornell, who is chair of the district council group tasked with assessing the options for the Sub Rooms, assured the meeting that the district council did not want to close the venue.
But district councillor Simon Pickering stressed that due to the financial pressures the district council was facing, an alternative solution must be found.
Town Mayor Kevin Cranston said they had a lot of interest from people following the meeting.
“Town councillors have been working hard contacting people with the relevant expertise and interest to facilitate a way forward,” he said.
“We had positive feedback from this meeting but we need to find more people willing to explore the financial options, including establishing a community trust.
“We need to hear from people with knowledge of running venues as well as financial expertise.”
People interested in being a part of the Sub Rooms’ future can contact the Town Council at [email protected].
To download a summary of the meeting minutes please click here.