The Ironworks – Arts and Culture Community Venue
90 The High Street
Southend on Sea
We are writing to you on behalf of The Ironworks Community Venue in Southend on Sea, a vital community hub that has had a transformative impact on our local community and the High Street. The Ironworks has become a symbol of creativity, inclusivity, and resilience, and we are reaching out to you with a heartfelt plea for sponsorship.
As you may already know, The Ironworks faces an imminent threat of closure due to financial challenges. Our current funding from UK Government – SELEP which Southend City Council secured as part of the regeneration of the High Street - expires on February 9th 2024, and without additional support, we will be forced to give notice to our landlord at the beginning of November. This would be a tremendous loss, not only for our community but also for the local landscape, as The Ironworks has become a cornerstone of our High Street – a community hub.
The story of The Ironworks Centre began in 2021 when Kiwi Productions answered the call from Southend Council to activate an empty High Street shop space, emphasisng creative uses, community engagement, and the fight against social isolation and emotional and physical well-being. Over the past year- and it has only been a year, we have successfully embedded ourselves within the community and become an integral and celebrated part of Southend's cultural regeneration. Our accomplishments include:
• Welcoming over 108,514 individuals since our doors opened.
• Providing space for 44 charities and local service providers.
• Hosting 80 weekly additional needs clubs, welcoming over 1,000 visits from members.
• Offering free arts and crafts for children, with over 150 kids participating each week.
• Hosting numerous private and music events, involving over 1,000 musicians.
• Showcasing numerous artists and supporting local traders.
• Employing 20 individuals and engaging 10 regular weekly volunteers, many with additional needs.
The Ironworks community space is not just a place for events and activities; it is a safe, accessible space that enriches the lives of the Southend community. You can see the impact of our work and read testimonials on our social media channels, particularly our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/theIronWorksSouthend
You can also find us on Instagram [email redacted]kssouthend
To continue our mission and secure our future, we urgently need financial support to cover essential costs:
• £65,000 plus VAT for rent
• £22,000 for Business Rates
• £30,000 for core operating costs
With your help, we aim to bridge this one-year gap and position ourselves to apply for larger funding opportunities to develop the other floors in the building- which will be the linch-pin to making this project truly sustainable, such as The National Lottery, The Arts Council, and local corporate sponsorships which we are already potentially in line for.
Our vision for the future includes developing The Ironworks Community Venue to include affordable and even free recording and artist studios and also performance space on the basement level, a theatre and youth club on the 1st floor, as well as educational spaces. We have also garnered interest from charities and other organisations regarding hiring permanent space on the 2nd floor – however without a functioning lift and additional stairwell, at present we do not have the accessibility to accept this. We need some more time to achieve this.
We have interest from charities including The Music Man Project, MIND, Southend PRIDE, ‘Get the Kids Out’ – all keen to explore the second floor as their home – but capital funding is the only we can achieve this – and we need more time.
To keep The Ironworks afloat for another year, we are seeking £120,000 in sponsorship and community funding. Your support would not only make you a community champion but also help sustain this valuable asset in our community.
If you have the means to contribute in a larger capacity or wish to discuss sponsorship of a specific floor, project element, or enterprise, please contact us at [email redacted].uk or reach out to Natalie Solomons at 07779990786. We are open to naming rights and partnerships that reflect your generous support.
Your involvement would make a significant difference in preserving The Ironworks and ensuring its continued impact on the Southend community.
We sincerely hope you will consider this opportunity to become a crucial part of our mission. Your support as a community champion would be truly invaluable.
Thank you for your time, consideration, and potential support. Together, we can help secure the future of The Ironworks Community Venue and maintain its status as a thriving, creative, and inclusive space for all.
Natalie and Ami Solomons