Co-op controls the Globe

The first pub in the UK to be owned by a co-operative dedicated to jazz has started a new phase in its development with help from the Co-operative Loan Fund.

Jazz.Coop, which owns The Globe bar and music venue in Newcastle upon Tyne, has employed a manager and bar staff for the first time.

The co-operative bought The Globe in 2014 after a successful community share issue. For the first two years the main bar was run by tenants while Jazz.Coop put on gigs and ran workshops and courses in the small bar on the first floor.

The arrangement should have provided the co-operative with a guaranteed income at relatively low risk. However the first tenant quit after 18 months. When the second tenant became ill and handed in his notice after only a few months, the board of Jazz.Coop decided that the business operation would be more sustainable if they managed the Globe directly and employed staff. This proposal was fully endorsed by the members at the AGM and Jazz.Coop applied to the Co-operative Loan Fund for working finance.

Hollie Stinson
Hollie Stinson, the new manager of the Globe and first employee of Jazz.Coop

Under the new management model The Globe is hosting a much wider range of live music gigs as well as DJ sessions, dance, poetry, drama and various learning opportunities. The Globe offers a very good range of live jazz, from New Orleans trad to contemporary free improvisation, and hosts gigs by local, national and international artists. This diversity of live music programming is very unusual in a small venue outside London.

The new manager, Hollie Stinson, is originally from Texas, and she is developing a unique range of Tex/Mex bar snacks and promises to make ‘the best margaritas in the Toon’

Jazz.Coop Co-Chair Dave Parker said: “We are very grateful to The Co-operative Loan Fund for their continuing support. We could not have managed to take this next big step in the development of this unique co-operative venture without their help.”

Ian Rothwell, Investment Manager at Co-operative & Community Finance, which manages the Co-operative Loan Fund, said: “Moving from the tenant to the management business model is an important change that will give the community more control over their asset and what goes on there. It is a good move for everyone concerned.”