The Cellar, the Oxford nightclub facing imminent closure over fire safety requirements, has raised enough money to undertake the building renovations needed to stop it from closing.
The nightclub announced it had reached its £80k crowdfunding target today, an amount that will fund building work to widen the club’s fire escape to comply with city council standards and to make up for financial losses.
In October, independent music venue began its crowdfunding campaign, which was backed by students, residents and artists, including Radiohead drummer Philip Selway.
In a Facebook post, The Cellar team wrote: “WOW we are awestruck. Through the power of the people, thanks to you we’ve now got the crowdfunding we need to save The Cellar.
“It’s been an incredible journey and one we hope also communicates to people out there, just how crucial small venues are to our music and arts community. This is a live situation and we have been working really hard to get all the other things in place before the building work can commence.”
In June, Cellar was forced to cut the maximum capacity from 150 people to 60, as the fire escape was 30cm too narrow for Oxfordshire County Council requirements.
The nightclub was set to close on 3rd December unless it could raise enough money increase its capacity and make up for any losses incurred.
The Cellar management has since gained approval from the landlords to submit the building plans, consulted with structural engineers, had the club building has been surveyed, and drawn up detailed drawings of the building.
Their submission to the planning office is pending approval by 4th January 2019. They have consulted with building control and received quotes from various building firms, all of which are available to commence in January 2019.
They have also met with the landlord’s surveyors to finalise our their rent agreement.
The team added: “There are many pieces of the jigsaw to slot into place to keep The Cellar alive. We are hoping that the building work will start in January 2019, and we are working flat out to ensure this happens.
“It’s important to us, and to all your incredible efforts, that we do not accept the money until we are 100% sure we can deliver. We will keep you updated via the crowdfunder updates, every step of the way.
“Thank you so so much for your patience on this, and we are so grateful we now have the chance to save our beloved venue. #cellarforever.”
The Cellar has been contacted for comment.