Shares offered in UK’s first co-op jazz club

14 February 2014
Music fans plan to raise £230,000 to convert an old pub into Britain’s first co-operatively owned jazz club.
Investors will be asked to raise £125,500 in a share offer issued by the Newcastle-based Pink Lane Jazz Co-op.
The 70 strong co-op has secured a further £105,000 from an ethical investment fund to buy and refurbish the nineteenth century Globe public house.
The pub, which served it first pints to nearby arms factory workers when it opened, saw custom fall as heavy engineering declined in the city’s Scotswood area. Trust Inns, the present owners, now want to sell.
Co-op members, who include an accountant; surveyor; architect and a pathologist, believe the building could be turned around as a music venue.
It is planned to use the two storey building for a wide range of music and dance events with an emphasis on jazz, latin, afro and other non-mainstream music. There will be space for education and rehearsal.
Instant riches are not promised. “You should view buying shares in Pink Lane Jazz Coop primarily as a social or cultural investment”, says the prospectus.
Money invested will be tied up for the first three years of purchase and thereafter the co-op hopes to pay interest of 5%. The prospectus is confident about the future and says 23 threatened pubs in England and Wales have stayed in business by becoming coops.
The largest single slice of funding will come from Bristol based Co-operative & Community Finance. They have approved a long term loan of £75,000 plus a short term loan of £30,000.
The Co-operative Community Shares Fund, another ethical investor, has agreed to underwrite £42,000 of the share issue.
Talks are underway with HM Revenue and Customs to see if investors will be eligible for tax relief of up to 50% under SEED Enterprise Investment Scheme.
Pink Lane Jazz Co-op has also received specialist guidance in preparing the share issue from The Co-operative Enterprise Hub and the Community Shares Unit.
Dave Parker, a founder member of Pink Lane Jazz Co-op, 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.”