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The Hot Tin music venue in appeal for £26,000 to save itself from closure

The owners of a popular music venue are in a race against time to raise enough funds to prevent their cash-strapped business from closing.

The Hot Tin in Whitstable Road, Faversham, has been identified by industry figures as a site in danger of having to shut down imminently, as it has remained closed since March.

Hot Tin owners Mike Eden and Romana Bellinger
Hot Tin owners Mike Eden and Romana Bellinger

Owner Mike Eden says the venue, which was also a cafe, has lost thousands of pounds over the last eight months.

And if a last-ditch attempt to raise £26,000 online does not pay off, the proprietor believes he and business partner Romana Bellinger, who also runs the site, will have to look for another job.

“We’re trying everything we can to stay afloat,” said Mr Eden.

“The amount we’ve lost since lockdown has been substantial - it’s thousands.

“We’re predominantly a music venue, so we need large numbers. But we’ve been closed the whole time because we can’t put on live gigs.

“If we can’t get the funds by January, we’ll have to find employment elsewhere as we’re running out of money.”

The Hot Tin has been closed since March
The Hot Tin has been closed since March

The Music Venue Trust included the Hot Tin in a list of 30 sites it says are in imminent danger of permanent closure.

Each of the venues identified by the charity were either ineligible to receive funding or unsuccessful in their bids for much-needed cash.

Mr Eden says he and Ms Bellinger were unable to secure financial support after his mother became seriously ill in the summer.

“We were about to apply for the Cultural Recovery Fund, but unfortunately we missed the two-week application window as my mother became critically ill and died in hospital,” he said.

“We missed the deadline and missed out on the fund in August. There was no way to apply for it during that period. We’ve got no income at all, so we’re having to rely on the Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan - we’re eating into that all the time and will have to pay that back - and the community’s support.”

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 Crowdfunder page, launched with the help of the Music Venue Trust, has raised almost £6,000 so far.

To donate, click here.

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