Music fans have pledged more than £64,000 to try and transform an old North East pub into the UK’s first co-operatively owned jazz venue.
Pink Lane Jazz Co-op was founded by a group of poets, jazz music lovers and local residents following the death of Keith Crombie, who ran the city’s Jazz Cafe, in December 2012.
Initially the 72-strong group wanted to buy the Cafe, but the building’s owners re-opened it themselves, so instead they turned their attention to The Globe, off Scotswood Road, which has been closed since January 1.
But with 13 days to go until their March 24 deadline, a share issue to try and raise the £125,000 needed – on top of a £105,000 loan from the Co-op – is still more than £60,000 short.
Yet Pink Lane Jazz Co-op spokesman Dave Parker said he was still hopeful the group will reach its target to buy the pub, to the west of city centre.
“This is a very exciting and rare venture – setting up a co-operative music venue – and one that’s committed to jazz,” he said.
“We have a long-term vision of establishing The Globe as the place in Newcastle to go to hear live jazz and other music that is outside the mainstream.
“It will be a place where musicians learn, share and develop their skills – a hub for jazz education.
“It may well be the first music venue to be owned by a co-operative committed to jazz.
“It’s also a good investment. After three years investors can expect to earn good interest on their shares.”
The total cost of buying and refurbishing the pub would be £230,000 and if group are successful they intend to rent the building back the tenants who ran the venue until its closure, Kerry James and Vicky Tate.
Over time the co-op would then host more live jazz events and offer classes to promote the music.
The Pink Lane Jazz Co-op share issue
The share offering runs until midnight on March 24, with shares valued at £1. The minimum investment is £200, and individuals can invest up to £20,000.
The co-op intends to pay an interest of 5% to shareholders after three years.
To find out more and to invest visit the Pink Lane Jazz Co-op’s investment page – www.pinklanejazz.co.uk/invest