A REDDITCH entertainments support company has appealed to local MP Rachel Maclean after being forced to make 50 people redundant – a quartr of its workforce.
Moons Moat-based SSE Audio provides sound systems for major live events, tours and festivals like Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds.
It had been anticipating working before ten million people this summer, but instead on Tuesday night, along with local studios company FlybyNite, it bathed its Moons Moat headquarters in red in a plea for the government to extend its furlough scheme.
It was part of a co-ordinated ‘Throw Us A Line’ campaign that saw SSE offices in Manchester and London join the nationwide campaign.
In the capital alone 350 buildings were lit up in red.
“It’s hard to make people redundant but at the same time we have had no choice,” said Alex Penn, managing director at SSE Audio.
“It’s not because we made bad choices it’s because we rely on live performances and we have no revenue.”
Artists from Leona Lewis to Peter Gabriel and Paul Weller have also backed their call.
The entertainments industry earns millions of pounds for the Exchequer and is one of Britain’s brightest exports.
The company was founded in the 70s by husband and wife team John and Heather Penn, and it is Heather who has contacted Mrs Maclean.
John’s brother Geoff Penn, said: “We’re talking ticket sales, hotel rooms, meals out – there is a massive amount of income generated for the government and if they support this industry it will soon come back, but as it is we desperately need the furlough scheme to be extended.”
The London Stock Exchange identified SSE Audio Group as amongst 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain in 2016, and 1,000 Companies to Inspire Europe in 2017.
Local MP Rachel Maclean said: “I am doing what I can to support SSE Audio at this difficult time. I have made representations to the Treasury on their behalf. I have also been in contact with Redditch Borough Council, the Local Enterprise Partnerships and Worcestershire Business Central to see if any funding is available to support SSE Audio.”
For an interview with Alex Penn, visit https://youtu.be/RnESlcK6P8U