The company responsible for the John Peel arts centre have made a public appeal for funds, in hopes of reaching their target of £25,000, by the end of the year. The centre, which was set up in honour of the much-loved DJ, whose Radio One show delighted generations of students before his 2004 death, has the aim of creating an wide-ranging arts centre owned by the local people.
The centre was given a £500,000 grant by Biffaward in November, which is being used to refurbish the building by installing a café, sound and light systems, a stage and mezzanine flooring, but now the community interest business in charge of the centre has to find a further £300,000 in order to make it viable. They aim to try and raise money by means of a “crowd funding” initiative, whereby those interested contribute money in exchange for Peel-related memorabilia.
Amongst those most likely to be interested in such a scheme are students, who made up a significant section of Peel’s audience base, and who continue to hold him in fond regard. However the ability of students to donate is likely to be limited by their own present financial constraints. A promotional film to support the scheme has been made by Eye Film and TV, and their managing director – Charlie Gauvain – acknowledged the difficulties in reaching the target:
“We’ve been amazed by the goodwill,” he stated, before adding:
“To make it to £25,000, some major things have got to happen.”