The Studio to stay open

The Studio, Tower Street. Picture by FRANK REID
The Studio, Tower Street. Picture by FRANK REID

A MUCH-LOVED music venue will remain open following a passionate fundraising drive and is now set to start running educational courses in music technology.

Volunteers at The Studio, in Tower Street, Hartlepool, were delighted to reveal the venue has had the go-ahead to stay open this year after raising enough cash to fund the insurance.

Phil Swinburne

Phil Swinburne

The future of the venue looked extremely grim just months ago when Hartlepool College of Further Education and Cleveland College of Art and Design withdrew their support, leaving the closure of The Studio looking inevitable.

But volunteers got to work on raising the cash and turning the venue into a music sanctuary and a community hub.

Plans to branch out and expand facilities and opportunities on offer at The Studio got off to a perfect start after the venue was awarded a £5,000 project to offer BTEC courses.

A wide range of courses teaching people of all ages about music technology will get underway later this month.

And while the venue gets to grips with the new courses and volunteers continue their quest to raise much needed cash for the charity, gigs will be put on hold until March.

But volunteers promise that live music will be back with a bang following the short break.

Mike Young, a volunteer at the Tower Street-based venue, said: “It can’t be underestimated how much time and effort went into raising the money and making sure The Studio has a future.

“There was a lot of good will from our volunteers but what helped greatly was the response we got from the community.

“We have now been commissioned to run a £5,000 project to offer BTEC accredited programmes which is a fantastic opportunity for us.

“But we don’t want to overstretch so we decided just to take a short breather from holding gigs just so we can tidy a few things up behind the scenes and make sure we’re ready to go come March-time.”

The rehearsal and recording facilities will remain open throughout the year and available for hire while various performing groups in the town continue to make the most of the venue.

Long-time volunteer Phil Swinburne added: “We would like to say a big thanks to everyone who supported us last year with fundraising events and all of the volunteers who helped to ensure we stayed open.

“The hard work doesn’t stop here, we need to keep fundraising, keep putting money in the bank and make sure The Studio continues to grow as a venue.” For information about the venue or to hire rooms and rehearsal and recording facilities or those who are interested in signing up for the BTEC courses should call (01429) 424440.