TWO popular Chester music venues have launched fundraising appeals to save them from permanent closure.

Alexander's Live and The Live Rooms are both part of a national campaign launched today to help hundreds of independent music venues affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The 'Save Our Venues' initiative – backed by musician Frank Turner – has been organised by the charity Music Venue Trust and aims to save more than 550 UK grassroots venues which are at imminent risk of permanent closure.

Alexander's Live has set a target of £13,000 to keep the business afloat, while The Live Rooms needs £10,000 to cover its general costs.

As part of the campaign, artists are being encouraged to do live 'at home' gigs which people can watch online to help raise much-needed funds for their local venues.

Jamie Northrop, owner of Alexander's Live, said: "The venue is a small, independently-owned business and now faces permanent closure due to a lack of funds to keep the business surviving from day to day.

"Funds raised through this Crowdfund will be used in the immediate term to pay ongoing costs that continue to mount up and allow us to complete ongoing crucial maintenance as well. This will ensure the business remains viable for the future and remove the threat of closure.

"Alexander’s Live has been described as a being the 'the heart of the community' by Chris Matheson, our local MP, and we will do all we can to continue to be here offering a stage for people's passions for years to come.

"Your support today really will help us in our fight for survival and ensure that one of Chester’s main hubs of cultural activity stands strong fro years to come.

"Generosity shown by people already is extremely overwhelming and we cannot say thank you enough. We hope that you all can enjoy some entertainment through this exciting programme of online activity and continue to support us.

"All funds raised over and above our target will be donated straight to the Music Venue Trust’s Crisis fund which will, in turn, support and stop the closure of other grassroots music venues across the country.

"It is our collective aim to ensure not one venue is closed due to this pandemic and with your support we truly believe we can achieve this."

The Live Rooms posted on its fundraising page: "The Live Rooms is part of a national initiative launched by Music Venue Trust to prevent the closure of hundreds of independent music venues.

"Our venue faces closure because like so many others, we are struggling to cover our general costs whilst closed.

"Your donations will be used to ensure we are in a position to open as and when it's safe to do so. Any help you are able to offer is massively appreciated.

"If we hit our target, and we can prevent the closure of our venue, everything above the amount we need will be donated to the Music Venue Trust GMV Crisis Fund to protect other venues just like ours, right across the country."

Musician Frank Turner said: "The UK live music industry is staring into the abyss right now. I'm not able to save the whole thing on my own, but I decided to do a series of livestream shows to raise money for specific independent venues that I know and love, and that are in serious risk of disappearing right now.

"The success of these shows demonstrated the love that exists between music fans and their favourite grassroots music venues so the #saveourvenues campaign is a brilliant way of building on that and hopefully giving artists and music fans a chance to get involved and play a big part in helping them survive."

Music Venue Trust's CEO Mark Davyd added: "Without the support of music fans and artists literally hundreds of the UK’s grassroots music venues could go out of business, never to return, in the coming months.

"Please help to save every single grassroots music venue in the UK so that it can reopen after this crisis and continue to be a home to our musicians and our communities."

To support Alexander's Live click here.

To support The Live Rooms click here.