Now for some good news, the Bell Inn, Walcot St, Bath has been saved from becoming a chain pub by a community buyout! The buyout was initiated by a group of customers, local musicians and performers including a number of boaters. The Bell Community has so far raised nearly £800,000 of the £900,000 asking price. Musicians Robert Plant, Portishead, Baka Beyond, Michael Eavis, The Stranglers, Gabrielle Aplin, The Wurzels, Clare Teal, Midge Ure, Peter Gabriel, Cara Dillon, Kangaroo Moon and many more celebrities and unknown supporters, bought shares of £500 to raise the sum. Their offer has been accepted and they are waiting for the contract to be signed.
There will be a launch party in May. Following the owner’s decision to sell, only the usual pub chains had been interested and the unique atmosphere of the Bell could have become a bland ‘beefspoon’ package had it not been for the determination of a small group of artists and customers to set up a community co-operative. The current share offer is closed but rumour has it that there will be another share offer soon where smaller shares will be offered. For more information see http://www.bellcommunity.org.uk/