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Exchange Bristol

Social performance

Exchange want to make the venue place where people come and enjoy Bristol’s music, socialise and enjoy food, drink and refreshments throughout the day. Their refurbishment plans will help make this happen.

Social Impact

If you follow the news about venues like Exchange, you’ll discover that they’re closing at a rate of knots. As the 2017 UK Live Music Census found, 'the smaller end of the live music sector is a vital part of the live music ecology, but live music is facing challenges, particularly at the smaller end'. They’re threatened by a variety of challenges. They’re often in inner-city areas which are gentrifying fast, in buildings owned by developers who’d rather have them turned into flats

In Bristol alone at least four live music venues have shut since Exchange opened, whilst another three consider themselves under threat.

The census also found out what anyone who loves live music has known all along: that live music means something. Live music offers possibilities: of transcendence, social bonding, inspiration, unique experiences. It can form a fundamental part of people’s identities, and become woven into our life stories. It relaxes us, surprises us, lifts our mood, takes us places. We can lose ourselves in it. We can find ourselves in it. Live music gives us freedom. And it’s different every time.

Key Social Performance Indicators (KSPIs)

KSPIs are a measure of how the business is performing on delivering its main social or environmental purpose. Read more

KSPI 1 - Community Ownership

Community ownership is more than just a financial investment, and it gives more than just a financial return. Exchange venue wil lgives a social and cultural return, creating real benefits for the community:

  • A venue owned by the people of Bristol for the people of Bristol
  • Continued use of a venue that is not purely commercially driven - that remains committed to taking creative risks and putting on not-for-profit events for the benefit of the community.
  • Proposed venue redevelopment means the venue would be available for the use of the community seven days a week.
  • More collaboration with new organisations to offer an even more diverse and inclusive programme
  • Improved accessibility

And that’s not even mentioning the real magic of community ownership. As a community-owned venue, Exchange will make the rewards of their success something that can be shared with the people who matter the most to them. Exchange will be ploughing the fruits of that success back into Exchange, back into the hands of music fans in Bristol, and ultimately back into Bristol itself.

Members forum

Exchange know that Annual General Meetings and elections aren’t the only way to ensure that members remain in control. They will be creating a Members’ Forum that will be selected at random to get the views and thoughts of ordinary investors.

Every member will be asked if they want to be considered to serve on the Forum, and each year, up to 6 people will be selected at random from the list of the people who’ve said they’d like to be considered.

The Members’ Forum will meet 4 times a year to discuss with the Board and senior staff about how the venue is going, and what they think of future plans. The Forum will have the power to call general Meetings of the whole membership if they think there’s an issue they need to discuss. In addition, anyone wanting to stand for the Board of Directors to represent members must first meet with the Members Forum and get their approval to become a candidate in the election.

KSPI 2 - Supporting Bristol's Music Industry

"There are many people out there who share our drive and enthusiasm and this is their opportunity to be a part of something special and to help ensure that the venue exists to foster the ideas f the next generation of promoters, bands and gig goers. We invite you to join us to write the next chapter.”
Matt, Paul and Peter, Exchange Co-Founders

Exchange will continue to be a key part of Bristols unique and creative music and social enterprise scene.  The improvements to the venue will enable exchange to provide:

  • Continued availability of a space for daytime rehearsals, meetings, filmings at little to no cost.
  • Local record fairs, book fairs and markets aimed at supporting local traders and artists
  • Pop up kitchens for local chefs.
  • The space, opportunities and support to allow young bands and promoters to play and promote events.

Common environmental performance indicators (CEPIs)

CEPIs are environmental performance indicators that are common to all businesses, no matter what their main business activity is. Read more

Carbon emissions

Exchange Bristol aims to ensure it's renovation activity is as environmentally friendly as 

Exchange would like to reduce the carbon footprint of the building and transform the heating and air quality in the venue with a mechanical ventilation and heat recovery unit. These measures along with the installation of water saving toilets will greatly reduce our utility costs and pay back the capital costs within a few years. This is important to future proof the organisation by updating and improving accessibility, venue safety, sound proofing etc.

Staff travel to work

Exchange Bristol does not currently report on staff travel.

Waste and recycling

Exchange Bristol does not report on waste and recycling.

Common Social Performance Indicators (CSPIs)

CSPIs are social performance indicators that are common to all businesses, no matter what their main business activity is. Read more

Community involvement

See KSPI 1 above

Ethical procurement

Exchange Bristol does not report on ethical procurement practices.


Exchange Bristol does not currently monitor social performance indicators relating to staff.

Save Exchange

Learn about why Exchange Bristol is so important to Bristol's entertainment and culture.

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