Stroud Town Council and community group Stroud Trust are committed to keeping the Sub Rooms in public ownership and turning it into a thriving venue for use by all of the community.
“The response we had from the public on Saturday was brilliant, and overwhelmingly in support of keeping the Sub Rooms a publicly owned asset – not just for now, but for future generations,” said Julie Howe, spokesperson for the Trust.
“There was genuine concern that once the building is in private hands, its gone forever.”
Stroud Trust will undertake much needed remedial work to the building and some refurbishment to create a bigger, better cafe/bar, a new smaller performance space, and room for community meetings and workshops. The Trust has asked for a one-off ‘dowry’ payment from SDC, equal to one years present running costs and then will operate without money from the public purse.
“Creating a more versatile space for both larger acts and community events, along with increased cafe and bar income will generate the revenue needed to make the Sub Rooms a viable business,” said Julie Howe.
“That mix is very important and we are committed to ensuring the Sub Rooms grows its reputation as an entertainment venue while being an important local hub, our aim is to make it accessible to the whole community.”
Kevin Cranston, Town Mayor, the Town Council is open to discussion with the District Council to find the best solution.
“It should not be a hasty decision. The community view is overwhelmingly that the Sub Rooms and forecourt should remain in public ownership,” he said.
“We would urge Stroud District Council to talk to all interested parties and to find a negotiated solution that protects the Subscription Rooms in perpetuity.
“As elected members, and servants of the community, it is important for us to find the solution that best meets the wishes of the community. A compromise solution can be found and Stroud Town Council and Stroud Trust are as ever willing to help find it.”
Councillor Cranston said that it was important to note that the dowry being sought from the District Council in the Sub Rooms was a one-off and that the goal is to make the venue self-sufficient.