Venue where Beatles started out sold for £1
THE sale of the venue which no lesser an authority than Sir Paul McCartney said hosted the Beatles’ worst ever gig should be completed next week – for £1.
The long-awaited transfer of Stroud’s 183-year-old arts and entertainment venue Subscription Rooms is set to receive the final sign-off next week.
Beatlemania was still a year away when the Liverpudlian band arrived at Stroud’s Subscription Rooms in March 1962.
It was their first gig outside of either Liverpool or Hamburg and they were paid £32 for their performance.
In 2007 Sir Paul said that they were so bad Teddy Boys in the crowd threw coins at them.
And now a single pound coin will change hands, with the venue being transferred to Stroud Town Council by the district council.
It will be run as a community- owned venue. The Grade II-listed venue will be leased to a Trust which has been set up to run the building.
The contracts were supposed to be transferred last October, but a delay in negotiations meant the final deadline was pushed back to March 31 this year.
Stroud Town Council’s contribution to contract negotiations increased from £50,000 to £83,000 in November to cover handover issues. As part of the agreement, Stroud District Council has provided a one-off grant of £230,000 towards operating costs, up to £125,000 for roof repairs and £20,000 worth of fixtures and fittings.
The Trust plans to raise funds to make improvements to the building, which is in the centre of Stroud, including an upgrade to the toilets, bar and cafe. A transfer would keep the Subscription Rooms in public ownership, saving Stroud District Council £230,000 annually in running costs.
A council report to be presented to the council’s strategy and resources committee next week said a new booking system is being bought by Stroud Town Council for the Trust, and will be up and running this month.
It added that up until mid-March, the district council will continue to take bookings on the authority’s booking system for events up to the end of July 2019.
Stroud District Council’s strategy and resources committee are expected to approve the final terms of the contract on January 17, from 7pm.
The Beatles played Stroud’s Subscription Rooms, below, inMarch 1962