By Tiffany Chan
To sign the petition, please click here.
The MP for Durham City, Mary Kelly Foy, recently pledged her backing for a petition to save the city’s Rocking Horse Rehearsal Rooms and recording studio from permanent closure.
The petition was started by owner and founder Richard Combstock, after the venue received a notice in January saying that the site’s landlords intended to demolish the existing property for redevelopment. Since then, Combstock’s petition has gained over 3,000 signatures.
On 23rd June, Ms Foy visited Rocking Horse to show solidarity with his efforts to save the establishment. Foy expressed her support on Twitter by saying: “This wonderful recording studio and rehearsal space is under threat of redevelopment, but would make an amazing centrepiece to a cultural quarter in Durham”.
Foy also told The Northern Echo that “We must celebrate and protect our cultural assets in the city, and I’ll be doing what I can to save Rocking Horse.”
Established in 2011, Rocking Horse serves as a “vital” hub for the city’s music scene. It provides a place for 30-40 bands to rehearse every week, and has supported over 300 local artists, mentored sound engineers and music students. The venue supplies invaluable equipment for Durham’s various gigs, and it is also where the University’s brass band goes to record its albums.
Combstock spoke to Palatinate last February about the challenges Rocking Horse are facing. He explained that it would not be possible to finance a relocation of the organisation within central Durham, saying that “We’ve built, from scratch, super soundproof rooms. It would be impossible to tear our work down and build again somewhere else”.
He also expressed concern about the ability of local artists being able to access similar local facilities in the future, with Combstock stressing that “we’re pretty much the last local independent hub of its kind” in the area.
Image: Rocking Horse Recording Studio