Gloucestershire charity The Music Works is launching a Crowdfunding campaign this July 2023 to raise funds to open a brand-new music venue in the Forest of Dean.
It is planning to transform the former HSBC bank in Cinderford into The Forest Community Music Hub, complete with an event space, state-of-the-art recording studio, production suite, rehearsal rooms, Changing Places toilet and even a sensory music room – with the capacity to engage up to 600 young people every year and help them to develop their passion for music, as well as practical skills in performance and production.
The project has been designed in collaboration with local young people and has already raised £850,000. The new Crowdfunder aims to secure another £15,000 with hopes to open the venue in early 2024.
The Music Works was founded in 2004 in the Forest of Dean and now works with around 4,000 young people every year, 70 per cent of whom live in challenging circumstances.
The new hub aims to provide after school, evening, weekend and school holiday activities, as well as one-to-one mentoring; artist development; affordable spaces for local artists, bands and DJs to rent; community outreach work; and showcase performances — with the charity saying it is excited to come back to its roots and give local young people a place where they can make new friends and feel proud of where they live.
CEO of The Music Works, Deborah Potts, said: 'We strongly believe that the Hub will transform our work in the Forest of Dean. Having engaged with thousands of young people at our Gloucester Hub, we have witnessed the profound impact it will have and the new aspirations it will raise for young people in the forest.'
Les Love from Cinderford Town Council added: 'Cinderford Town Council is delighted to partner with The Music Works on this exciting venture. Whether it's recording, producing, mixing or working behind the scenes, The Music Works will offer advice, guidance and a sense of direction to the young people in Forest of Dean. Together, we will create a platform to effect change and provide a voice to those who love music.'
Supporters of the Crowdfunder can gain access to exclusive rewards for donations of £20 or more, such as entry to The Music Works events; recording sessions in the new studio; and access to the Music Bus for corporate memberships.
The Crowdfunder is open until Thursday 31 August 2023.