Venue where Bea­tles started out sold for £1

Western Daily Press - - News - LEIGH BOOBYER [email protected]­erndai­ly­press.co.uk

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.

Cen­tral Press

The Bea­tles played Stroud’s Sub­scrip­tion Rooms, be­low, inMarch 1962

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