With hundreds of music venues at risk of closure because of the effects of Covid-19, things were not looking good for the Wedgewood Rooms in Southsea, an independent live music venue, which hosts music and comedy events.
To combat what could have been an untimely end to the venue famed across the Solent since it opened in 1992, the team at ‘the Wedge’, as it is affectionately known by Southsea residents, teamed up with the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to make use of its match funding Crowdfunder scheme.
£5,000 from SLEP
The LEP, which has awarded over £100K to support projects across the region has pledged £5,000 towards the venue’s fixed costs incurred during the lockdown period.
The #SolentPayItForward scheme match-funds (up to £5,000) once 25 percent of the funding target had been met through supporters’ contributions, and so far it has awarded 65 businesses across the Solent funding in the last 13 weeks.
Music Venue Trust campaign
As well as the regional support from the LEP the Wedgewood Rooms has also been part of a national initiative launched by Music Venue Trust (MTV) to prevent the closure of hundreds of independent grassroots music venues under the banner # SaveOurVenues.
Venues were advised to set up a Crowdfunder to tie in with the national target. Nationally the MVT has raised £1.12million from 4222 supporters, the Wedgewood Rooms has currently raised £22,000 from 566 supporters in the local community.
Micro and small businesses make up 98 percent of Solent’s economy
Solent LEP Board Director SJ Hunt explained,
“With micro and small businesses making up 98 percent of the Solent’s economy, it seemed critical that the LEP finds a way to support them through what has been one of the most difficult economic periods in living memory. Independent businesses like the Wedgewood Rooms are much loved by locals and play an important part in making the Solent region special.
“As we move into the next phase of Covid-19, we hope that more businesses will take advantage of this offer to raise important funds that can be used towards their recovery plans.”
Priestley: The extra funds will go a long way
Geoff Priestley from the Wedgewood Rooms said:
“We are pleased that Solent LEP has chosen to support us, and our community by match funding our Crowdfunder, and it is great to see it supporting Live Music through what is the most difficult of times, the extra funds will go a long way to help keeping us going in these difficult times.”
The Wedgewood Rooms has hosted diverse music artists such as You Me At Six, Kasabian, Catatonia, Klaxons and Travis. In addition it is currently the longest running Comedy Club in Portsmouth, and has played host to the likes of Jo Brand, Michael McIntyre, and Lee Evans.
Support and find out more
To find out more and to ‘Save the Wedge’ go to the Crowdfunder Page.
To find out about the #SolentPayItForward scheme, and to sign up, go to: the Website.