Comics back Komedia's community ownership bid | 'A bold, canny step' says Mel Giedroyc

Comics back Komedia's community ownership bid

'A bold, canny step' says Mel Giedroyc

Comedy names including Mel Giedroyc and Nick Helm have joined a campaign to help Bath Komedia become a community-owned venue.

The venue's owners are hoping to raise £350,000 by offer shares in the venture to local residents and businesses.

With less than a week to go, they have raised £240,000 – including £100,00 from social investment bank Big Society Capital.

In a new video, Giedroyc described the planned change of ownership as a ‘bold, canny and 21st Century step’, while explaining how Komedia, which also has a venue in Brighton, has been the launchpad for many artists, including Mel and Sue.

 

  Another film features stand-up comics including Phil Nichol, Nick Helm, Daliso Chaponda and Katherine Ryan singing the praises of the venue.

Comics who have invested include Komedia's regular comperes Stephen Grant and Mark Olver, podcaster and stand-up Stuart Goldsmith, Barry Ferns, whose own London venue The Bill Murray was founded by crowdfunding, and Cold Feet creator Mike Bullen, who lives in Bath.

Komedia's co-founder Richard Daws refused to be drawn on what would happen if the £350,000 target was not met by next Wednesday night, saying only: 'Nothing dramatic, but we are planning on reaching the target.'

The venue's owners are to write off some of the £1million they have put into the business to turn it into a so-called  Community Benefit Society, a set-up frequently used to save venues at risk of closure.

But Daws says the case here is to make the community feel invested in the venue emotionally as well as financially.

The cash injection will help the venue clear its overdraft and increase its promotional activity and if all goes to plan investors could get a three per cent return on the money they put in, which can be between £250 and £100,000.

Published: 7 Dec 2017

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