In March 2020 we had to close our doors due to COVID-19 and like hundreds across the country, our venue was facing the prospect of permanent closure.
Skip forward six weeks – having resolved what was safe and possible – the Ballroom, in collaboration with Sorting Room Studios, was converted into a socially distanced recording studio.
This partnership, combined with financial support from the Arts Council England, has helped the venue survive and will hopefully keep it going long into the future.
We have been lucky enough to receive two grants; first, an Emergency Response grant to ensure we could pay the rent and overheads over the summer. Next, a second, larger sum to start employing promoters, programmers, technicians and artists to create original content that can be streamed online.
This has given us the breathing space and opportunity to re-look at the venue, its place as a cultural hub in the region and its role within the local community.
If you haven’t already, check out the sessions and film in the feed below.
We can’t wait to see you all back at the Barrel House Ballroom as soon as we can.
Sarah and Richard Kidd and the Barrel House team.