The Sub Rooms is getting a £10,000 grant to improve live music facilities at the Stroud venue, as PRS for Music has declared it the winner for the south and east of England of its Back to Live Music Venue Prize.
PRS for Music - the UK-based organisation that represents the rights of over 160,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers worldwide - launched the competition in March 2022 to help independent live music venues recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, where they faced an 84 per cent decline in live music performances.
Described as a cultural hub for the area, The Sub Rooms hosts live music, theatre, visual arts, spoken word events and workshops - and is a key venue in the popular Stroud Book Festival.
It was saved from being sold into private ownership by local residents in 2018 and is now run by Stroud Town Council and the Stroud Subscription Rooms Trust, with the £10,000 prize providing a cash injection for improvements.
The Sub Rooms director, Hugh Phillimore, and fundraiser, Nadja Singh, plan to use the money to upgrade the venue's sound and tech; and create smaller, more accessible live music spaces for up-and-coming local musicians, facilitating jam sessions, intimate performances and DJ sets.
Phillimore said: ‘This recovery-focussed nationwide competition was aimed at helping venues remain at the heart of the community – and we’re certainly doing that. We’re determined to serve our local community not only by providing a huge cross section of top-quality entertainment, but also by encouraging the wealth of local talent that is out there.
‘The PRS for Music Prize will help us develop better spaces for emerging talent – it will be a real leg up for local performers.’
CEO of PRS for Music, Andrea Czapary Martin, said: 'The Sub Rooms in Stroud holds a long and interesting music history, with the Beatles performing there in the 1960s. We’re proud to support its ongoing work within the community with a Back to Live Music Venue Prize of £10,000, creating opportunities for Gloucestershire’s local and emerging talent to have a space where they can flex their creative flair.'
Tony Barton, head of writer relations at PRS for Music, added: 'The Sub Rooms' vision to support and upskill the next generation of
musicians, while intertwining the arts within the community it serves, caught
the eyes of the judges. Congratulations to Hugh, Nadja and the team on its PRS
for Music Back to Live Prize.'