A Covid Update

Dear friends of the Trades Club

This message brings you an update on what’s happening with the Club during this strange time that we find ourselves in. We are remaining closed for now, but rest assured that we will be back as soon as the time is right to provide our members with fine music, food and drink. This has not been an easy decision to make, but the Club’s managers and committee are in agreement that it’s the best route forward for now.

We consider ourselves to be a community venue first and foremost, and as such we see ourselves as having a duty to act in a responsible manner and safeguard all our members and guests. Whilst we would like to open and see you all again as soon as possible, we also want to be sure we can do so safely and in a way that ensures the Club remains financially viable. We do not feel that the current guidelines enable us to adequately achieve this yet.

We have, of course, considered the viability of opening smaller sections of the Club (e.g. the Member’s Bar), but even this would be a very complex undertaking. We are limited more than most by the size and layout of our building. A lack of outside space and narrow corridors create additional challenges when it comes to being able to keep everyone safe and at an appropriate social distance. Our rent and bills are also currently renegotiated to cheaper rates or deferred on the basis that we are closed. As a result of all this, the number of members and guests we could accommodate would be severely reduced and we would need more staff working than usual to operate safely, meaning that our ability to generate income would suffer as a result. Facing the full weight of rent and bills and additional wages costs on very limited income would quickly put us in afinancially precarious position.

The Trades Club should be a place where its members and guests can meet, consume reasonably priced food and drinks, watch bands, dance to DJs, relax and have the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of activities, community groups and campaigns. Being close together, singing, dancing: the activities that bring the greatest risk are really the bedrock of places like the Trades.

The safety of our members, staff and local community is of utmost importance to us and to that end, we’re keen to observe what best practices emerge from pubs and bars in terms of apps, serving techniques, registering customers & maintaining physical distancing to ensure that when we do unlock our big red doors, we do so in the best way possible. There remains a lot of work going on behind the scenes to look at alternatives and some events are already being moved online. We hope to build our virtual offering in the weeks to come.

We are also in the process of setting up a Crowdfunder fundraising initiative, so when we come back we come back even better – without having lost any of our valued staff team and having completed long overdue and disruptive maintenance work. As a Socialist, not-for-profit, community co-operative, we do not have huge reserves to draw upon to ensure that we get through this period. Even with potential help from the government (as this goes to press, we have not yet received any details of what this may look like for us), we are still facing uncertain and challenging times. Any help that you can offer us to ensure the future of the Club would be gratefully received.

We will be resuming our regular emails from the Club, where you’ll be kept informed on what’s going on behind the scenes and how you can get involved.

Take care and keep the faith. We will be back.

The Trades Club Committee