News: The Ironworks, Oswestry to close

Posted on: Thursday, Aug 1, 2013

Some sad news in, The Ironworks in Oswestry, Shropshire is to close:

PRESS RELEASE – CLOSING OF THE IRONWORKS

We, Steve and Roslynn Gore, have been obliged by our bankers to offer The Ironworks up for sale by auction on September 12th and have appointed Celt Rowlands of Oswestry.

We are desperately disappointed with this turn of events. Over the last six and a half years we have fought as a family to develop The Ironworks from a derelict building to that of being a pre-eminent venue for the performance of music, theatre and the arts serving Shropshire, Mid and North Wales, and outreaching nationally.

We are one of the few and ever-declining independent music venues. The diversity of our back catalogue is outstanding, our contribution to the night-time economy of Oswestry enormous. We are wholly open access to our community. As well as promoting touring artists, staging comedy nights and exhibitions, we give a platform to local artists, some of whom have since gone on to play at Glastonbury as well as major venues around the country. Others have gone on to tour the United States.  We regularly give over the performance room to arts-based and avant-garde events. We stage fashion shows, cinema events, open mic evenings and vinyl nights, and frequently host charity evenings, birthday parties and other special occasions.

The investment we have put in to The Ironworks both monetarily and physically has been monumental. From a rain soaked February evening in 2002 when we wandered through the streets looking for a bar where music might be playing came the idea of creating just such a venue. We discovered The Ironworks in 2003 and, overcome by its stunning structural beauty, realised that it was the perfect place for us to achieve our dream.  That it has achieved this so spectacularly has exceeded our wildest imaginings. The stature it has achieved nationally and internationally in the music industry is remarkable and we have brought artists from around the world to Oswestry. Our audiences not only come from the immediate area but also from all over the West Midlands, the North West and Wales. Notably, we have had people flying in from Europe and America to attend The Ironworks, filling hotels and restaurants in the town and having international artists giving their time to play on our streets.

We have achieved all of the above and now are faced with the prospect of all of that along with everything The Ironworks stands for being lost.

After informing members of our staff and other parties that have an active involvement with The Ironworks of the situation we are now faced with, the determination to achieve a positive solution has evolved.

It has been proposed that we offer the opportunity for individuals to buy into The Ironworks and become part owners. Monies so raised will clear the liability to the bank and make The Ironworks a truly independent enterprise, allowing it to move forward positively and develop accordingly.

We are forming a Community Interest Company as the best vehicle to move The Ironworks forward. The idea is that each brick, of which there are 7000 in the first floor room, is notionally offered for sale at a sum of £20.00 as a share in the Community Interest Company.

Either one brick or quantities of bricks can be bought. The template for the concept has arisen from the building itself. As those who frequent the premises know, it is built of brick, all of which is exposed. As necessity dictates, the investment will be largely philanthropic in principle, the intention being to preserve The Ironworks for what it represents to the community as a whole that it may continue to do what it has done for the last several years, providing a wonderful and inspiring environment for all those that have performed here and to maintain that facility for young aspiring artists, performers and musicians from around the area to come forward and have a friendly and professional platform from which to start their careers and develop their skills.

Our first bricks have been purchased by Patrick Monahan, one of the fastest rising stars on the comedy circuit today and local magician Paul Dabek, whose  career is fast gaining international recognition. Their impromptu launch of this project will shortly be up for viewing on our website and further details of this campaign will also be found.

We have six weeks.

We believe this is considerably more time than Flash Gordon was given to save the world, so…

Further information will soon be found on our website at www.the-ironworks.co.uk. Steve and Ros will be away until Monday 5th August, but will be available for further comment after this date. The Ironworks will be holding an Open Evening on Wednesday 7th August at 8pm where individuals can find out more about the campaign and get further details on how to join the fight and help save The Ironworks.

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