All ready for Studio relaunch just months after Hartlepool venue faced closure

(left to right) Phil Swinburne, Luke Wallace and Mark Hudson on stage at the Studio
(left to right) Phil Swinburne, Luke Wallace and Mark Hudson on stage at the Studio

RENOVATION work to breathe new life into a popular music venue and turn it into a “sanctuary for music fans” should be completed ahead of a launch night next month.

The future looked bleak for The Studio, in Tower Street, when Hartlepool College of Further Education and Cleveland College of Art and Design withdrew their support earlier this year.

But rather than face up to the prospect of losing the venue, a team of hard-working volunteers have come together to renovate The Studio and turn it into a facility for the whole community.

The group are giving up their time and working around the clock to create chill-out areas for bands and developing the recording studios upstairs while improving the acoustics in the venue.

And the committee will be showing off the new-look facility and hopefully kick-starting a bright future for The Studio at an official launch night on Saturday, December 7.

Tom Cook, 24, The Studio’s new marketing and PR manager, said: “What we are trying to do is appeal to all of the different aspects of the local community.

“We are going to have our blues night on back on a Tuesday night, a student night on a Thursday, bands in playing on a Saturday and we want to develop The Studio as a bar as well as a music venue.

“We want it to become a sanctuary for music fans in the town.”

There are no longer paid staff on the books and the venue is run purely by volunteers as they attempt to get the facility off the ground and up and running again. And those volunteers are leaving no stone unturned.

Technical operations manager Luke Wallace has even overlooked renovation work which included removing plaster board from the steel columns in the venue and removing a foam insulation from walls to ensure the live music has a “sharper” feel to it.

Old computer monitors have been turned into lights and old jam jars are now being used as light shades as the team cuts costs to ensure they have enough cash to complete renovation work and insure the facility for the next 12 months.

Luke said: “We aren’t letting anything get wasted.

“It’s all been about making the most of everything we have got here, it all makes a difference.”

The team has spent around £2,000 so far on the renovation while continuing to fundraise to make the money they need to pay the insurance at the end of the year.

They thanked everyone who has supported the venue with fundraising activities and events. The volunteers also expressed their thanks to staff at the nearby Charles Dickens DIY shop, who donated paint to help with the renovation of the venue.