The auction hammer should have come down on Peggy’s Skylight independent jazz bar this week but instead it remains open for business, for now.

Customers signed a petition to save the venue in huge numbers, which was enough to force a decision that allows Peggy’s to remain open for two more months.

And the owners hope that is enough of a respite to allow them to raise the money needed to purchase the property themselves or for the community to take over the ownership.

“It was such a shot in the arm to have people say what they said about the place”
Rachel Foster, Co-founder and director of peggy’s skylight

Rachel Foster and Paul Deats opened Peggy’s Skylight back in 2018, and it has since become a hit for Nottingham’s creative quarter, winning Jazz Venue of the Year in 2021.

However despite the success of the venture they were told late last year that Nottingham City Council were looking to sell the property.

The council said the sale was needed to support services due to years of underfunding by the government.

The pair said they were initially informed about the February auction in November but have since found out that the process has been delayed by two months.

Rachel says they only ever wanted a fair chance to keep the venue open.

“We want the Council to offer business owners more time to raise funds to purchase the property themselves, in order to ensure that we can keep enjoying world class live music in the heart of Nottingham,” she says.

Credits: Peggy’s Skylight

 

Following the initial decision by the council, a petition was set up to save Peggy’s and it received more than 13,000 signatures.

 

 

 

Rachel says she has been overwhelmed by the response from supporters of the jazz club.

Audio: Co-founder Rachel, was overwhelmed by the response.

On top of this, Rachel and Paul are also pursuing a ‘Asset of Community Value’ status.

This status would mean people in the local community were welcome to put their own bids for the building forward. It would also give a further six months to secure the funding.

Visual: Melonyx performing at Peggy’s.

Peggy’s Skylight is not the only local business venue under threat of closure, with many other smaller independent venues also at risk of closing.

This is something Rachel is increasingly concerned about, given her own experience.

Audio: Rachel remains concerned about the growing issue of independent music venues getting shut down. 

The Music Venue Trust is a registered charity which provides help and support for smaller, grassroots music venues across the UK.

It also works to raise awareness of the impending closure of independent venues.

Peggy’s Skyline showcases national and international artists from across the globe.

The club hosts smooth Sunday walk-in sessions and Afro-beat Wednesdays. It provides a variety of different opportunities to enjoy jazz music, from traditional swing to modern, contemporary styles of music.

DID YOU KNOW?

1. Jazz boosts your creativity and productivity at work, relieves stress, and increases your immunity.
2. Jazz musicians have been known to “turn off” parts of their brains when they’re improvising.
3. Jazz was so popular in the 1920s that the time period is often called the “Jazz Age” by historians. Illegal clubs called “speakeasies” were opened In America, with live jazz music, dancing, and sold alcohol.
4. The precise origin of the word “jazz” is a mystery.
5. The saxophone is commonly played in jazz music. It’s the only instrument in the woodwind family that has never been made out of wood.

For more information, or if you’d like to sign the petition to keep Peggy’s Skylight going: https://chng.it/4rMPWgBjRB

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