A BLACKBURN pub listed as a community asset is nearing its goal of re-opening.
A non-profit community interest company formed by around 60 regulars of the town centre Sir Charles Napier rock pub is poised to take over the business in the coming weeks, depending on the success of a new campaign on crowdfunding website Kickstarter.
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The "Napier" had a long-standing reputation as an alternative music venue but owners Thwaites closed the premises last July.
Since then a not for profit company was set up with the aim of raising £25,000 to refurbish the interior, build a stage, pay a tenancy bond and the first month’s rent.
The pub has been granted "Asset of Community Value" status, and campaigners have secured funding from private investors, as well as a £6,000 Assistance to Industry grant from Blackburn with Darwen Council to help with refurbishment costs.
Alex Martindale, 36, one the directors who has been associated with the pub since 1998, said that "fruitful" talks had taken place with the building’s owners, Thwaites, and progress was being made to get the pub open once again.
He added that the organisers had shared information with members and advisors of the group which recently re-opened the Dog Inn in Belthorn, which was also listed as a community asset.
Alex urged supporters to come forward.
He said: “We’ve completed the business planning and paperwork and are ready to sign a five year lease on the Napier, it’s an exciting time.
“But we need to make sure the Napier is sustainable in the future.
“That’s why we’re asking music fans and local people to help us raise the money we need to make some changes.”
The company’s Kickstarter campaign, at thenapier.co.uk/kickstarter, offers rewards ranging from t-shirts and badges to VIP experiences and a one-off Sir Charles Napier guitar.
Company member Helen Shepherd said: “If everyone who has an interest in the Napier or supports our cause gave just five pounds, we would have the doors open very soon."
“Please give us your support.”
Find out more at thenapier.co.uk, at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone on 07710 692226, or find Save the Napier on Facebook and Twitter.