Oxford

Plans to convert Oxford's The Cellar into shops withdrawn

The Cellar
Image caption The entrance to The Cellar is on Frewin Court, off Oxford's busy Cornmarket Street

Plans to convert a music venue in Oxford into retail space have been withdrawn.

St Michael's and All Saints' Charities, the landlord of The Cellar, had submitted an application to redevelop the basement venue beneath a shop.

A petition to keep it open gathered more than 13,000 signatures and the application for the Frewin Court venue was officially withdrawn on Wednesday.

The Cellar called the support "massively inspiring and motivating".

In a statement it described the move as a "fantastic outcome", and thanked the "incredible number" of supporters who registered objections against the plans.

It added: "We are still however in consultation with our solicitors to see what the next moves are likely to be."

Image caption Members of Foals and Glass Animals described the potential loss of The Cellar as 'terrible'

Several politicians and musicians sent messages of support to the venue during the campaign, including Oxford bands such as Foals and Ride.

Dave Bayley, from the Mercury-shortlisted Glass Animals, had previously said: "To see it turned into some retail outlet would be like beating the small heart of the Oxford music scene to a pulp with a premade sandwich."

In putting forward the plans, the charity claimed doing so could increase the amount it donated to good causes.

Anneliese Dodds, MP for Oxford East, tweeted: "Am so pleased that the campaign to keep the Cellar open has won out. Well done to all involved!"

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