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Efforts are renewed to save music venue
THE trustees of a popular music venue which seemed certain to close have decided to make a fresh effort to save it.
The Studio, in Tower Street, Hartlepool, was put up for sale in June and its future looked doomed.
But the trustees have now taken the building off the market and say raising only £5,000 to sort out pressing insurance issues could give the venue a chance to survive.
The Studio was put up for sale for about £200,000 after two student institutions in the town, Hartlepool College of Further Education and Cleveland College of Art and Design, gave notice on the lease.
Both colleges had saved the venue two years ago when The Studio fell into voluntary liquidation.
However, managers at both student institutions said they were forced to stop their support due to harsh economic conditions.
Night-time events had been a success, but the colleges said it had been harder to build up day-time trade.
The colleges’ decision to pull out led to the trustees putting The Studio on the market, but Phil Swinburne, chairman of the trustees, said there was no serious interest and The Studio was likely to close altogether by the end of the year when contents and building insurance ran out.
He said there was talk of relocating, but without a serious injection of funds, that would not be viable.
Mr Swinburne said: “We had a last goodbye gig a couple of months ago, with bands from Hartlepool, and it was fantastic.
“It was such a good spirit and atmosphere that we just wanted to keep it going.
“We are music lovers who want people to enjoy live music and there were all these people having a good time.
That’s what it’s about.
“If we could raise £5,000 that would mean we could get public liability insurance and pay for electricity and actually have a gig there again next year. There is a real spirit in the town about it. We want to keep that spirit of optimism alive.”
Mr Swinburne, 45, said that a Facebook video made by young people and musicians supporting The Studio had been a hit, as had an online questionnaire.
Other enthusiasts had come on board to help raise funds.
The venue’s football team had been re-established and a tattooist in the town has proposed selling tattoos of musical icons to raise cash. However, in the long term, The Studio would need to generate money to pay to restock the bar and pay staff wages.
Find out more information at facebook.com/thestudio hartlepool
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