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#SolentPayItForward scheme helps save iconic Wedgewood Rooms

21 July 2020

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 affectionally known by Southsea residents, made use of our match funding Crowdfunder scheme.

Whilst we have awarded over £100K to support projects across the region, we have also pledged £5,000 towards the Wedgewood Room's fixed costs incurred during the lockdown period. Our #SolentPayItForward scheme match-funds (up to £5,000) once 25% of the funding target had been met through supporters' contributions, and so far we have awarded over 65 businesses funding in the last 14 weeks.

As well as our regional support 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 4,222 supporters, the Wedgewood Rooms has currently raised over £22,000 from 566 supporters in the local community.

Solent LEP Board Director SJ Hunt explained: "With micro and small businesses making up 98% of the Solent’s economy, it seemed critical that the LEP find 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."

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 them 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.

Click here to find out more and to 'Save the Wedge'.

Click here to find out more and to sign up to the #SolentPayItForward scheme.

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