The Forum celebrated its status as a Community Interest Company (CIC) on Thursday with the three owners – Richard Simm, Jason Dormon and Mark Davyd – inviting loyal fans to join them in marking the occasion at the music centre in Tunbridge Wells.
Although it was officially made a CIC in December, the trio didn’t want to let the significance of the change slip by without some sort of formal gathering.
Mr Dormon said: “It was quite a last minute decision to hold a party, although the CIC is a significant milestone in the Forum’s development as it legitimises the place as a community asset.
“We have never been paid for doing this work and it is actually kept going by volunteers. Now everyone will know the money gets reinvested back into The Forum as a community asset.”
He explained that one of the main reasons for wanting to turn The Forum into a CIC – which means the directors limit their rights to dividends and run the venue for the benefit of the community – was to ensure it had a lasting legacy.
He added: “This will hopefully ensure there is some sort of succession as it provides a better mechanism for new people to come in and get involved.”
While Mr Dorm0n, Mr Simm and Mr Davyd will still be involved in the day-to-day running of the venue for the foreseeable future, the company will now be assessed once every three months by an independent board made up of people from the local community.
Their role is to ensure it is still delivering a programme which helps fulfil its role as a CIC, although Mr Dormon is confident the directors will keep standards high.
“They could one day say we are out of touch, but I don’t think that will happen,” he said.
Since being launched in 1993 The Forum has played host to some of the biggest names on the music scene, such as Adele, Coldplay, Green Day, Muse and Oasis.