Major new music venue set to open in Worthing

Thom Milner-Smith
Thom Milner-Smith

An exciting new music, club and cabaret venue is being readied for launch in Worthing.

The Factory Live, Worthing promises a state of the art purpose-built 350-capacity live and club music venue, in the warehouse of Soundhouse Studios where it will host new, emerging and established live music, comedy, club and experiential events throughout the week.

Organisers are promising it will be a “crucial addition to Worthing’s emerging nightlife.”

Worthing’s atom promotions have agreed a programming and venue development partnership deal with the venue. atom promotions will programme their entire diary of events.

Thom Milner-Smith (pictured right), CEO atom promotions, said: “The partnership with The Factory Live will deliver up to 150 life-affirming events annually.

“I’m really excited to be working with new grassroots venue, The Factory Live in Worthing. I want to deliver high quality events for both new, emerging and established talent, and this partnership will allow this to happen for many years, in my hometown. Watch this space!”

Steve Gardner, who runs the venue, is similarly hoping for great things: “I am ex-corporate and took a retirement package when I was 46. I retired about five years ago.”

And it is that business experience which Steve sees as being key to success ahead.

“When I left AmEx, I had never been a musician and had never been involved in the music scene, but I taught myself to play the piano and to cut a long story short, played in a couple of bands.”

Through playing, one thing led to another, and the possibility of using the building at 9 Ivy Arch Road, Worthing – previously rented out to Northbrook College as their music and dance training centre – arose. The landlord is a friend of Steve’s.

The venue will open on Friday, September 27 at 8pm with a gig from The Allergies.

Steve started at the venue three years ago, developing rehearsal facilities and studios for bands and also a dance room facility. The new venue will be an extension of all that is already happening there.

It will have a standing venue of 250 or 350 depending on the entertainment, a seating capacity of 140 or cabaret seating of 100.

“We have just finished building it and the interest is dramatic.

“We have got lots of bands and we are also looking at a couple of club nights. From November, it will be open at least three nights a week, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, but it will also be available for softer events during the week. The hope is that it will go up to five nights a week. It’s just a question of letting it happen. Worthing has got nothing like this.”

Permissions were straightforward: “We have got a fantastic location. We are slightly out of town on an industrial road.

“We have got nothing residential within 250 yards and Worthing central station is only two minutes’ walk away.

“With the licensing, we had no objections at all. Because of the studio here, we are busy with bands practically all the time. And because I am ex-corporate, I have made sure of all the details. I am a great believer that if you get it right, it will go well.

“It has been a big investment. I have spent the best part of £100,000 getting it up and running. We have got state of the art lighting and state of the art sound.”

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