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Local Venues Review

Your chance to get involved

Written By Andy Gunton

If you run a local venue or space in the Hastings and Bexhill area, which is used for live performance, or for rehearsal purposes, then this new initiative from Hastings Borough Council is for you.

Please read on.

While working with Hastings Borough Council recently, as outlined in recent posts, we've been able to help with the setting up of a comprehensive review of spaces being used for live performance, and rehearsal, in the Hastings and Bexhill area.

This is a great opportunity to see where we are with those spaces, and where we may need to go to in the future, and build on what we already have here.

We are also very pleased that this review is being carried out with the help of the Music Venue Trust, who are doing some great work helping to protect small grassroots music venues across the UK.

Below is the text of the official press release from HBC about the venues review:

"Through projects such as Jerwood Gallery, Stade Open Space, Source BMX Park and the Pier, Hastings is visibly redefining itself as a creative, attractive and exciting place to live, work and invest.

Through culture-led regeneration over the past 10-15 years Hastings and Bexhill has seen impressive transformation and now Hastings Borough Council wishes to build and enhance the role of culture, arts and heritage for the long-term future.

Rapid change and growth of cultural activity in this area has identified gaps in knowledge of the cultural sector and infrastructure which Hastings Borough Council and the Hastings and Rother Cultural Leaders Group; a strategic group bringing together key cultural and public sector partners, wish to address. Funded by Arts Council England, this will include commissioning a comprehensive review of venues in Hastings and Bexhill, with a focus on venues for live performance.

“We are really proud of the fact that Hastings has been recognised as having ‘culture at its heart’ and we want to develop opportunities further to sustain this for the future. Working with Sound Diplomacy in partnership with the Music Venue Trust, we will identify and produce an assessment of live music opportunities in Hastings and Bexhill focusing on grassroots music venues” said Cllr Dawn Poole, the council’s lead member for culture and leisure.

She added: “We are asking venues to get involved and tell us what they have to offer. We want to identify the current number of bars, pubs and restaurants with music, other performance opportunities including theatres and festivals, the number of rehearsal facilities and the amount of live performance opportunities staged per week. The number of jobs, audience demand and licencing conditions associated with current venues will also be assessed”.

Shain Shapiro from Sound Diplomacy commented: "We're thrilled to be working with Music Venue Trust on this venue review for the council. There's an amazing amount of talent in the area and it's impressive that the council is so forward thinking in realising the cultural and economic opportunities that music can bring to the area.  We look forward to getting stuck in."

Venues that show music and live performance and musicians are all encouraged to complete the survey. To find out more or to be sent the survey, email culture@hastings.gov.uk."

Please get involved. By doing this local venues review we can build up a database and a picture of what spaces are available for live performance in the Hastings area, and also what we may be missing so that that can hopefully be improved on in the future.

This will also help us as we move towards making Hastings and Rother a 'Music City' over the coming months and years.

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