A music venue in Sutton has been saved from closing its doors after receiving £35,000 in donations in less than 24 hours, which the business co-founder said was “insane”.

Keiron Marshall, 34, co-founded The Sound Lounge – a grassroots music venue specialising in live concerts and serving plant-based food – with his wife, Hannah White, 44.

The couple, who have been married for eight years, originally opened a venue in Tooting in 2016 and relocated to Sutton in 2020 during the pandemic.

Mr Marshall said their business was “a week away” from having to close following outstanding bills, soaring energy costs and the price of purchasing stock from suppliers.

The couple met with their financial advisers and it was agreed that £35,000 would be needed to cover any outstanding fees which could “potentially threaten” the business with closure.

They launched a Crowdfunder on Friday, thinking it would take weeks to raise the full amount, but they did so in just 22 hours.

“We launched it at 4.30pm and by the next day at 2pm we’d hit the target, we were absolutely shocked,” Mr Marshall, based in Sutton, told the PA news agency.

“When we hit it, I could not believe it – Hannah was crying her eyes out for most of the day.

“People were messaging us telling us they were addicted to clicking refresh on the page.

“It just shows how many people wanted it to stay which was amazing.”

Mr Marshall added that he and his wife “never, ever” wanted to launch a Crowdfunder, saying the amount they needed was “so much”, but he said the comments they received from their customers and members of the public made them feel “very loved”.

“Seeing that level of support was just insane,” he said.

“We genuinely thought it would take six weeks to raise the money, and if we’re honest, we weren’t sure we were going to hit the target.

“When you’re so close to giving up or closing, having everyone’s support like that makes you pull yourself together and now you’ve got a responsibility.

“People are behind this and this is theirs now, so make it happen.”

Mr Marshall said the business had been struggling “since the pandemic”, not helped by rising energy costs which saw its monthly electricity bill “go through the roof” from £750 to £3,000.

“It was just such a huge hike in every single cost in the business,” he said.

“The food and drink sales we were relying on to almost offset the losses of putting on culture just weren’t making enough, so we kept falling behind.

“We got to this point where every cost had gone up.”

Mr Marshall added that the couple knew they were not “making ends meet” and estimated they would run out of money to keep the business afloat in January.

“We definitely would have run out of cash altogether as a business by probably next week,” he said.

“We wouldn’t have been able to pay all our staff, which is our priority, and our suppliers because they’re all small independents.

“I knew within six weeks it would have been forced on me that we were going to have to shut the doors.”

Thanks to the donations, the couple are now looking to the future of The Sound Lounge, and they are hoping to turn it into a charitable organisation after facilitating several projects alongside their main business.

“We thought with the projects that we do – some are outside of music and around sustainability and social inclusion – that if we can just get over this hurdle, this should be our first thing,” Mr Marshall said.

“That would help with long-term viability, that’s the aim of where we want to go with it.

“Since we’ve said that, we’ve had people write to us from the charity sector saying they want to help us.”

The couple have added a stretch target of £45,000 to their Crowdfunder to help them with the costs of turning the business into a charity, raising more than £42,000 so far.

To find out more, visit: crowdfunder.co.uk/p/save-the-sound-lounge