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Help save “the exquisitely renovated Sidholme Music Room”

  • by JW

“Great potential for development as a Centre for Excellence of Arts and Music in the South West, as well as conferences, weddings and other profitable events.”


A plea has just been received from a former chair of the VGS:


“The exquisitely renovated Sidholme Music Room is under threat and in need of urgent support.”

“I attach the initial statement of intent and contact details.”

Save Our Hidden Gem.v3


Save Our Hidden Gem

Christian Guild, who own and manage the Sidholme Hotel in Sidmouth, Devon, has run into financial difficulties and has recently announced plans to sell the venue. Following an appeal from various community interests in Sidmouth, the Guild has offered us an opportunity to put forward an outline proposal, together with our plans for Sidholme, by Friday 29th May 2020, before going to the open market.

Our hope is to generate a rescue package for this hidden gem. The Sidholme Music Room has become a centre for performing arts and is a community lifeline for many in the Sid Valley and further afield.

The Grade II* listed venue presents a great opportunity to retain and develop this historic hidden gem for the benefit of the community. After an initial consultation we have discovered that the business has great potential for development as a Centre for Excellence of Arts and Music in the South West, as well as conferences, weddings and other profitable events.

Considerable interest has been aroused within the Sid Valley and we are appealing to the business and wider community in Sidmouth and beyond to see if there are interested parties with financial capability who wish to take up this opportunity, individually or as a consortium, to acquire or potentially lease the facility and develop the business.

To this effect, a Sidholme working group consisting of Sameer Velayudhan , John McGregor, Mukie Gosrani, Sylvia Brownlee, Val and Colin Howels have formally requested information from Christian Guild with regards to financial reports, current valuations and a view on their expectations.

Within one week 

(Bank Holiday Monday 25th May) 

please respond to register your interest in donating or if you are looking for more information and an opportunity to invest email:

We are in the process of developing a platform to accept donations and we will email again in due course


The magnificent photos above have been taken from the website of the Friends:


Friends of Sidholme Music Room


Welcome to the home The Friends of Sidholme Music Room. Our project involves many people in Sidmouth and in places far and wide, we hope you will be inspired to join us if you have not already considered doing so. In the meantime we hope you find our website of interest and look forward to seeing you at the many events we have planned at the Sidholme Music Room in Sidmouth Devon.

In 2013, a group of Sidmothian volunteers came together as the ‘Sidholme Organ Friends Association’. Within 2 years, they raised £19,000 pounds and the splendid 1855 Gray and Davison Organ, originally ordered by the 6th Earl of Buckinghamshire, was restored to its original specification. This work was entrusted to Michael Farley, Organ Builder of Colyton Raleigh in Devon in whose care it still remains. A specialist artist, Alison Henham of Ottery St. Mary, repainted its pipes in lapis lazuli blue to reflect their importance within this wonderful, historic room.  Additionally,  internal lighting and see-through panels were installed to allow the instrument to be used for educational purposes.

Following this successful venture, ‘The Friends’ reformed in 2015 as the ‘Friends of Sidholme Music Room’ who now number about 250 members.  With a revised committee, they have raised the necessary funds to send the largest chandelier away for restoration, arranged the purchase of a new Yamaha piano to replace the rather tired Bechstein piano and purchased a bespoke piano duet stool.  Now they have turned to further fundraising for the current music room project.