A Horsham music studio has become a registered charity - with seventies heart-throb David Essex as its patron.
The new charity for QM Studios - based in Denne Road - replaces the Horsham District Live Music Alliance which has existed as a volunteer organisation since 1999.
Singer-actor David Essex agreed to be the charity’s patron after hiring the studios for rehearsals last year before embarking on a nationwide tour.
Outgoing chairman Mark Daly said: “The Alliance began with the intention of promoting the enormous amount of un-heard talent within the local area and expanding the live music scene in general.
“With the aid of a lottery grant they purchased a 2kW PA system, set up QM Studios as a low- cost rehearsal and recording facility for local musicians, and funded the annual Horsham District Battle of the Bands competition.
“Now, some 17 years later, we feel that we have achieved most of what we set out to do and the music scene is in a pretty healthy state.
“Becoming a charity is the next logical step and while we will continue to operate as a low cost studio, as we have always done, this change enables us to expand how and who we work with in a more official capacity.”
It is now planned to increase the day-time use of QM Studios by offering outreach and educational programmes and providing access for music makers in the community to professional quality equipment and services.
Mark added: “We are keen to work in collaboration and form partnerships with other organisations and groups looking to access, make and be involved in music.
“We have a wonderful facility which we have upgraded and invested in over the last couple of years and work with some very talented musicians who are skilled at making music as accessible and inclusive as possible and we want more people to benefit from that.”
David Essex - who has a string of hits behind him such as Gonna Make You A Star, Stardust, Hold Me Close and Oh What A Circus - says he would recommend QM Studios “to all my friends if they want to rehearse somewhere outside of London.”