Newport music venue Le Pub saved by campaigners
NEWPORT’S much-loved live music venue, Le Pub, has been saved after campaigners raised enough money to take over the lease on the building.
Le Pub had looked under threat after owner Jeanette Lawrenson had put the Caxton Place venue up for sale in June, sparking fears for lovers of the bar it could be bought by developers and turned into flats or a wine bar.
Initially the bar manager, Sam Dabb (who was Sam Harries) and South Wales music promoters, Swn, had looked to raise around £20,000 to buy the building and carry out refurbishments.
But that deal fell through in August when the time limit on the CrowdFunder website they were using to collect pledges expired, meaning all of that money was automatically refunded.
As a result the Le Pub team went it alone continuing to raise money primarily through a series of gigs put on, including one by Aberdare rockers Kids in Glass Houses, who filmed the video for their single Fisticuffs at Le Pub..
T-shirts with the slogan #savelepub were also sold, and Le Pub held raffles and launched a new Crowdfunder site.
It helped them raise around £3,000, enough to take on a five-year-lease after owner agreed to continue to own the property but not the business.
"I think we showed the dedication and the huge swell of support which convinced her we weren’t just going to walk out at some point and leave her holding the lease," Mrs Dabb said.
The staff will stay the same, as will the venue on the whole, although some of the fundraisers' money will go towards refurbishment’s, with the bulk of it towards the lease.
Mrs Dabb, said: "Thank you very much to everyone who helped to save Le Pub.
"Rather than us just put on stuff now we would like people to come forward with ideas to use the space they saved.
"We would like to move away from just being a punk club and have more variety with things like acoustic nights and spoken word and literature events.
"We want Le Pub to be an art space for everyone in Newport because there are so few left now. Newport used to have such a vibrant arts scene and it can again."