Bath Komedia moves into community ownership | Venue raised £379,000 from locals

Bath Komedia moves into community ownership

Venue raised £379,000 from locals

The Komedia comedy club in Bath has completed its transition into community ownership.

As Chortle first reported in 2017, the venue's owners wrote off some of the £1million they have put into the business and instead offered shares in the company to local residents and businesses.

So-called Community Benefit Societies are frequently used to save venues at risk of closure, but Komedia's co-founder Richard Daws insisted that was not the case with his site – saying he wanted to forge closer links between the club and its customers.

Over a 69-day campaign run on crowdfunder.co.uk, the club raised £379,000 from  304 investors – exceeding its £350,000 target.

Each has an equal say in the running of the new business regardless of how large their stake. However they cannot easily withdraw their investment, but can only sell it to other members of the society.

Daws said: ‘Since we set off down the path to community ownership, the reasons for doing so have just grown stronger. With are already more embedded in the city and region than we ever have been and I can now envisage the venue we dreamed of setting up in 2007 still being around and thriving in 2107' 

The new society trading as Komeda will be called the Beau Nash CBS – in honour of the Grade II listed Beau Nash cinema that was converted into the club.

Comics including Katherine Ryan, Daliso Chaponda and Mel Giedroyc backed the move, by recording a video urging locals to invest.

The move does not affect the Komedia in Brighton, which is a separate company.

Published: 28 Mar 2019

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