Wednesday, July 5, 2017

News: Closure threat for Rotherham music charity

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Music at a prominent building on the edge of Rotherham town centre could fade out after a popular charity announced that it will close its doors for the final time later this month.

Get Sorted Academy of Music uses music to build up self-esteem, improve grades and develop social skills in young people.

Attracting students from throughout Rotherham and surrounding areas, activities include drumming, guitar, singing, bass, song writing, brass, violins, piano and ukulele. The charity also provides curriculum music in schools as well as workshops around world music and theme days.

The converted former pub also hosts school holiday activities and musical activities on site for groups wishing to explore music and creativity.

This week a statement from founder and managing director, Genya Johnson, announced the closure as the "only option left to take."

The statement read: "It is with deep regret that I have to inform you that Get Sorted Academy of Music will close its doors for the final time on Friday 21st July 2017.

"This is a sad time for everyone.

"The environment in which Get Sorted operates has become increasingly difficult during the past few years. The Trustees have not taken this decision lightly and, having considered several options over recent months, this was regrettably the only one left to take.

"Our aim is to continue all music lessons and activities as normal until the closing date and we would value your ongoing support over the next few difficult weeks.

"We know that many of you have formed excellent relationships with our tutors and we hope you will be able to build on these as some of the tutors will be offering 1-1 music lessons after the charity closes.

"For almost 25 years it has been my privilege to provide a unique and special place which has helped to change lives through music. From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank you for all your commitment and support over the years. Get Sorted would not have made it this far without you."

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Get Sorted was established in 1995 to offer quality and professional tuition in music and the arts. It was later incorporated in 2002 and registered as a charity in 2003. A year later it applied to take on the former Wellington Inn on Westgate as its new premises.

The charity receives income from schools, one to one tuition, income from events and income from a small group of organisations who regularly use the services. A number of small grants have been secured over the years.

The latest available accounts show that income for year ending March 31 2016 was £171,009, whilst expenditure was £185,302.

The premises on Westgate were rebuilt in 1903, commissioned by Bentley's Rotherham Old Brewery, on a site which had been home to a pub for 100 years previously. The Rotherham Civic Society has included the building in its local list of buildings of architectural or historic interest. The society notes that the Wellington went up for sale in 1994 and opened, after refurbishment, as a Ward's Free House in October of that year.

With 400 students, Get Sorted took on the building in 2005. The civic society has recently made recommendations over what it believed to be the significant future potential of Westgate as an opportunity area for the development of the creative industries.

The latest charity accounts also show that the Coalfields Regeneration Board financed the purchase of the freehold property, legal costs and some of the renovations via a grant. The building was acquired in December 2005 and therefore, the building cannot be sold or offered as security without consent until December 2030.

Get Sorted website

Images: Get Sorted


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