AN online campaign to save a popular town music venue is picking up pace – and already has the support of one renowned singer songwriter.
A consultation group of 16 former members of staff and regulars at The Studio, in Tower Street, are desperate to keep the venue open and are enlisting the support from other music lovers in the town.
They have set up a web page giving people the chance to have their say on The Studio and to get involved in various capacities.
It has already had support on Twitter from various acts in the music industry including singer songwriter Frank Turner, who has five albums to his name, and who played at Leeds and Reading festivals this weekend.
Hundreds of people have already logged onto the site.
It comes as The Studio’s trustees have taken the venue off the market and revealed their hopes to raise enough cash to insure it next year.
Around £5,000 needs to be raised by the end of the year to ensure the trustees can put gigs on at the venue in 2014.
The trustees and the consultation group are teaming up to raise awareness and to hopefully raise the cash needed.
Lead campaigner Stephen Carr, 24, told the Mail: “We had the last gig at The Studio while the colleges were in charge a few weeks ago and we could have completely sold out three times over.
“It was a really good night and it left us with the feeling that The Studio shouldn’t be done yet.
“There is a lot more life in the venue.”
The venue’s future has been in doubt since Hartlepool College of Further Education and Cleveland College of Art and Design withdrew their support last month.
The colleges had saved The Studio from closure two years ago, but said the “harsh economic climate” led to them pulling out.
Phil Swinburne, chairman of The Studio’s trustees, said: “After the last gig and the support we had there it hit home as to just how important The Studio and live music is in Hartlepool.
“No bids came in which we felt were tempting, now the work starts to raise the money for the insurance.”
Stephen, who worked at The Studio for two years and has been a regular there for 10 years, said: “What we are doing is trying to gauge interest to start with.
“Then, after the consultation period we will look at what happens next.”
He added: “I have been going to The Studio for 10 years.
“I grew up in The Studio, but other people have been going a lot longer than that, it means so much to so many people.”
Visit the consultation page and fill in the questionnaire at www.longlivethestudio.wix.com/thestudiohartlepool