Bristol venue turns to crowdfunding to tackle residents’ noise fears

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A Bristol venue has had to turn to crowdfunding to help it invest in noise insulation so it can get a full premises licence in the face of opposition from neighbours.

The Jam Jar, a volunteer-led independent community arts space in Pennywell Road in the city centre, has set itself a target of £20,000 through leading platform Crowdfunder, although it needs £40,000 in total.

The venue, which opened four years ago, launched the fund-raising campaign after its application for a full premises licence was met with several objections from the local authority and residents, mainly on the grounds of noise. The application was withdrawn while they discussed terms.

After meeting police and residents, the Jam Jar team have agreed to fix noise-related issues, including double glazing, diffusive panels, refurbishing equipment, re-flooring the venue and acoustic tests and treatment as well as legal representation and other compulsory works such as plumbing, electrics and carpentry.

“Without the funds required, the Jam Jar won’t be able to continue,” said co-founder Hadie Abido. “We would have to find other ways to finance through sponsorship or big investors but we want to remain as independent as possible.”

The Jam Jar, formerly The Old Malthouse, was created in a badly neglected old warehouse, creating a performance space, a purpose-built recording studio, a creative suite and a green roof garden.

Hadie said: “Over the last four years we have come together as individuals to create some incredible events and experiences, from our critically acclaimed annual conkers tournament to once-in-a-lifetime intimate gigs.

“The Jam Jar is much more than a venue: it provides an essential service that is heavily subsidised by its weekend activities. Without safe community spaces like the Jam Jar, Bristol and the UK are sure to lose a lot of its mojo.

“It is becoming rarer and rarer to see genuinely grassroots spaces like the Jam Jar emerging and they should be protected collectively by those that need and want them.”

Click here for more information and to support the Jam Jar.

Bristol pub and music venue The Surrey Vaults, which dates back to at least the 19th century, was forced to close last month due to noise complaints from residents of nearby newly-built flats.

On Wednesday December 6, an event is being run in Bristol by the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) exploring how the night-time economy can exist alongside urban development. It will be at Bristol music venue Thekla which is campaigning to safeguard its future after planning permission was granted for a nearby residential development. Click here for more information.

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