Published: 06:00, 10 April 2021
A popular music venue identified by industry figures as a site in danger of shutting down has received a massive cash injection.
Owners Mike Eden and Romana Bellinger thought they would have had to look for another job if attempts to raise vital funds needed to stay afloat failed.
But this week it has been revealed that their business, which is also a café, has been saved from closure after receiving a £49,000 grant from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund.
Reacting to the news, Mr Eden said: “They’re much-needed funds - everything hinged on us getting this funding.
“It was (up in the air) whether we’d be able to continue because we’ve not been able to function at all for over a year now, so we’ve had no income and been cut in every way.
“Now this enables us to reopen when we can in late summer, if the government allows.
“It’ll also help us pay for programming and productions to be able to put on gigs without a reliance on ticket sales.”
The list of at-risk businesses compiled by The Music Venue Trust last year had either been ineligible to receive funding or unsuccessful in their bids for much-needed cash.
This prompted the creation of a Crowdfunder page asking for £26,000 to help save the Hot Tin.
Mr Eden says he will close down the appeal and use the almost £17,000 raised to support the Whitstable Road venue.
“The support we’ve had from the community has been great,” he added.
“They picked us up by telling us they’ve missed us - they’ve given us the strength to keep going and look forward to reopening.
“We would have got quite despondent otherwise.”
With a capacity of 200 people, the Hot Tin opened at the former Victorian corrugated iron church in 2018, after being closed for the preceding 70 years.
The venue’s aim is to provide a one-of-a-kind space for live music, performance, film and the arts.