Bath's Bell Inn saved by community buyout scheme
- 21 March 2013
- From the section Somerset
A campaign backed by rock stars including Robert Plant and Peter Gabriel to save a Bath music venue has exceeded its target.
When The Bell Inn on Walcot Street was put up for sale, customers launched a buyout with shares priced from £500 to £20,000 to raise £500,000.
A loan will cover the shortfall in the asking price of £925,000.
General manager Patrick Cave announced to cheers from a packed pub that £720,000 had been raised.
"We've had an amazing response from local people and more cheques are coming in tonight," said Mr Cave.
"This is where power lies for people to buy into local businesses and make sure they are sustainable for the future."
An offer will now be made to the pub's owner.
The pubis home to the Bath Fringe Festival and Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant described it as "a crucial and integral venue".
He said: "For the last 10 years or so many of my musical adventures have been with friends from Bristol and Bath, so I'm fully aware of the Bell and its legacy and its contribution to the musicians and audience in the surrounding area."
Peter Gabriel said: "The Bell has always been a key part of Bath's live music scene, often giving musicians their first break and always providing music that is vibrant, diverse and free."
Other stars with links to the area, including Midge Ure, Will Gregory from Goldfrapp and Portishead, also supported the plan to save the pub.