UPDATE – our offer to Stroud District Council has now been submitted. You can view full details here.
A campaign has been launched to raise £100,000 in pledges to carry out improvements to the Sub Rooms and ensure its future as a community-owned venue.
Stroud Town Council has launched the initiative as part of its proposal to Stroud District Council to take on the lease of the venue.
“For the moment we are simply asking people to make a pledge to demonstrate to the District Council that there is wide-ranging community support to create a viable and vibrant cultural and arts centre,” said Town Mayor Kevin Cranston.
“During the past 12 months thousands of people have called for the Subs Rooms to be kept in public ownership.
“If our offer to Stroud District Council is successful we will launch a detailed plan for the future of the Subs at which time we’ll be looking for vital early donations as we get up and running.”
The money would be used to improve the toilets and provide a new bar and cafe. These improvements were highlighted by people who completed a recent Town Council survey.
“The majority of the more than 600 people who completed the survey stated that these improvements would make a real difference to the Subs and would thus help us bring in more income,” said Councillor Cranston.
Among the first to support the Subs Pledge campaign are Stroud author Katie Fforde and Cotswolds-based actress Emma Samms.
“‘The Sub Rooms was one of the first buildings we saw when we came house hunting in Stroud 38 years ago,” said Katie.
“I imagined people saving up their pennies and paying to have it built. It is essential that it stays there for the people of Stroud. It is part of all our lives now.”
Actress Emma Samms, who lives in the Cotswolds, agrees and has called on people to join the campaign.
“Stroud has always been known as a culturally diverse and creative town with the heart and soul of a community,” said Emma.
“Every community needs a cultural hub, somewhere people can go to meet others, broaden their horizons or simply escape into an evening of theatre or music.
“I am proud to be a part of the Cotswolds and that’s why I’m pledging my support to ensure the Subs remains in the community and at its heart.”
The deadline for applications to the District Council to take over the Sub Rooms’ lease is March 5. A decision is expected in April.
People can make their pledge online on: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SubsPledge or by mobile on www.surveymonkey.com/r/WDQ7JJL. Pledge forms are also available from the Town Council offices or can be downloaded here: Pledge leaflet.
The campaign hashtag is #subspledge.