A local businessman has donated £100,000 to save Cheltenham's Banksy mural.
He has also pledged to match any amount another business agrees to donate. Work to remove 'Spy Booth' from a building in the Town is currently on hold because the Council were concerned about damage to the grade II listed building.
Mark Nelson, Built Environment Enforcement Manager, said:
Cheltenham Borough Council has issued a temporary stop notice to halt work on 159 Fairview Road for 28 days.
The temporary stop notice has been served because the Council considers that works have taken place to a Grade II listed building, which affects its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest, without obtaining consent.
The purpose of the notice is to stop works whilst discussions take place about the next steps.
It is worth clarifying that whilst the Council is supportive of the public's desire to keep the artwork on this property, the temporary stop notice has been issued to protect the integrity of this listed building.
A van has been parked at the Cheltenham Banksy to block entry to it. It's a protest against the proposed sale of the art to a private collector.
An anonymous business owner has donated £10,000 to keep Banksy's Spy Booth in Cheltenham.
The Woman's Business Club, who are leading the campaign to buy the art, say it was donated on the condition that other businesses in Cheltenham match the donation.
The group want to buy the art and the property and turn it into a museum to look at the history of GCHQ. A domain name for the venture has already been registered at www.thespycentre.co.uk.
It seems Cheltenham WILL be losing its Banksy.
It's thought the owners of the property are about to accept a seven figure offer from an anonymous American art collector. Local business groups have been trying to raise funds to keep 'Spy Booth' in the town.
Ken Goodwin has sent this report
STATEMENT: "Bankrobber can confirm that in spite of the best efforts of the local business community, headed by Angela De Souza of the Women's Business Club, it seems increasingly likely that Cheltenham is set to lose its Banksy.
Whilst intervention from Bankrobber's Robin Barton succeeded in stalling the removal process, it appears that with no firm offer or coherent strategy in place to secure the mural that pressure is growing on the owners to accept the initial seven figure offer from an anonymous American collector.
Robin Barton says "that whilst the owners are sympathetic to the communities wishes they cannot see a clear compromise that would leave them unimpeded by the presence and responsibility of owning the building and its ? associated mural".
Barton says that to the owners "the mural has become something of a poisoned chalice and as such whilst they would rather it remained in situ the temptation to pass the problem on is tempting".
BREAKING Art Gallery owner Robin Barton says "increasingly likely" that Cheltenham will lose it's #banksy
He says "mural has become a poisoned chalice" for property owners and temptation to pass the problem on is "too strong"
Business woman Angela De Souza says they have not come up with the funds they need to save the Banksy spies mural for Cheltenham.
- £100,000 by midnight tonight as a deposit
- £550,000 within 10 days
- £100,000 of community funds within 3 months
- £250,000 for purchase of the house
She was hoping to turn the whole house into The Spy Centre.
– Angela De Souza
it would be a satellite museum to the history and importance of GCHQ and its part in the security of our nation from Bletchley Park to Drone control in the middle east, including the Edward Snowden debate and Julian Assange.
But unless there's a sudden windfall, it looks like the plans may be on hold and the Banksy could be sold off.
The Cheltenham Banksy could still be moved and sold.
It now seems the local community hasn't reached the target to buy the artwork to keep it in the town.
A lot of people became very upset when they heard the spy booth painting might be be removed, after scaffolding was put up around it last week. Today our Gloucestershire correspondent Ken Goodwin spoke with a London art dealer who's at the centre of the story.