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Sutton-based grassroots venue The Sound Lounge has become the UK’s first grassroots music venue to achieve carbon-neutral status.

The 250-capacity venue, founded by musicians Hannah White and Keiron Marshall (pictured), received CarbonNeutral® company certification as of 1 July.

The independent, non-profit organisation has been running since 2015 in South London towns Tooting, Wimbledon and then Morden, before opening on the former premises of Sutton High Street’s Royal Bank of Scotland in 2020.

The venue, which hosts live performances of blues, Americana, folk and roots music, also features a plant-based, carbon-neutral café and a vinyl record shop, and hosts visual art exhibitions, theatre and dance.

The venue’s theatre stage is in part built by young people not in education, employment or training (NEET). It plans to install a community garden, offer free hot drinks for local residents suffering from social isolation, and provide training for disadvantaged people aiming to become baristas and sound engineers.

Some of the venue’s environmental measures in place include: energy from 100% renewable sources, locally brewed beer, a small allotment garden for zero-carbon produce for the menu and a full range of carbon neutral wines.

White said being a small business serving the local community comes with responsibility: “We can’t claim to be making a positive impact on people around us if we are actually causing harm, even if it’s in an indirect way.”