New plans for interior of the historic Subscription Rooms in Stroud have been unveiled for the first time.

People can see the proposals first hand at an exhibition at the Sub Rooms this Saturday, October 13, from 10am to 1pm.

The proposals are the results of months of consultations by the town council with the community, key partners and the new Stroud Subscription Rooms Trust.

“We are delighted to be able to show the proposals of what the Subs could look like once it is in the ownership of the town council,” said Stroud Town Mayor Kevin Cranston.

“But nothing is in stone. We want feedback from the community so that we can ensure the improvements make the Subs fit for purpose and turn it into a dynamic and thriving arts and community venue.

Proposals include: replace the tourist information office with a new box office, bar and cafe; convert the Mr Twitchetts cafe into a meeting space event kitchen, build an improved access ramp and renovate the George Room to become a multi-use venue with retractable cinema seating.


New plans include flexible seating to allow for a possible cinema space ©childs+sulzmann architects

A second phase would include: plans to convert the kitchen and interim space to form larger female toilets; create a fully accessible disabled toilet with adult changing table and relocate the kitchen to the new cafe.

This phase would also include redesigning the Kendrick bar on the first floor so that it can serve more people at any one time and retractable seating in the Ballroom.

Stroud Town Council and Stroud District Council are negotiating a contract which will see the building be transferred to the town council, therefore ensuring it remains in public ownership.

A separate organisation, The Stroud Subscription Rooms Trust, has been set up and is currently working with the Charities Commission on its registration, will be responsible for running the Subscription Rooms.

It comes as more flexibility in the negotiations was called for during a council meeting last week.

Stroud District Council - the venue’s current owner - has agreed to scrap a deadline for swapping contracts with Stroud Town Council, which has agreed to take on the building after it was nearly sold off last year over concern for mounting costs to taxpayers.


Proposed plans will see the ground floor opened up and a new bar and cafe area created ©childs+sulzmann architects

Everything must now be wrapped up by March next year.

But Conservative councillors feared that more time could mean negotiations could drag on and lose momentum.

Tory leader cllr Nigel Cooper told colleagues: “The exchange of contracts date was supposed to put pressure on things to happen and now it has disappeared completely.”

Labour leader of the council Doina Cornell replied: “It’s quite possible we’ll still get a contract exchange early – this is what happens if we don’t.”

In March Stroud Town Council launched a campaign to raise £100,000 in pledges to carry out improvements to the Sub Rooms.

Nearly £50,000 was pledged and people are now being asked to honour those pledges.


Those who agreed to support The Subs are now being asked to honour their pledges

Donations can be made electronically via the website, via cheque - made payable to Stroud Town Council - and dropped off at the Town Council offices or sent via post.

All cheques and cash must be accompanied by a donation form which is available on the town council website or from the town council office.

Beth Alden, chair of Stroud Subscription Rooms Trust said: “The trustees are very excited about the future of the Subscription Rooms; making the historic building fit for purpose and more accessible will be a significant step towards this future.

"We are looking forward to hearing the public response to these proposals.”

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