'A second home to us all': £5,000 raised in two days for Wolverhampton's Planet Nightclub

Thousands of pounds has been raised to help a popular Wolverhampton nightclub through the coronavirus pandemic.

The Planet Nightclub. Photo: Facebook/Planet
The Planet Nightclub. Photo: Facebook/Planet

A GoFundMe page, set up for The Planet Nightclub by regular attendee Maninder Sandhu, has raised more than £5,000 in two days with the aim to reach £30,000.

The fundraiser has already been shared more than 1,000 times and has been supported by more than 200 donors.

Club owner Michael Ansell commented: "It has proper touched me, and pulled my heart strings that my customers, friends, and regulars would do this for The Planet.

"It has brought me to tears that people care and are willing to donate in such uncertain times."

Nightclubs have been shut since coronavirus forced the UK into lockdown in March.

The nightlife industry was dealt a further blow when it was announced that pubs, restaurants and bars must close at 10pm under new lockdown restrictions.

A statement from the venue continued: "One of our customers, the infamous legend that is Mani Sandhu, has set up a GoFundMe to help us out, now it's clear further government funding isn't on the cards.

"We can't express how humbled and touched we are by the gesture, and to any that choose to donate to it.

"If you have time give it a read, we'll be rewarding everyone that takes part with a special donators only event which will be free to everyone that donates.

"We owe you all everything."

One of our customers the infamous legend that is Mani Sandhu has set up a gofundme to help us out, now it's clear...

Posted by The Planet Nightclub on Friday, 25 September 2020

The GoFundMe page accuses the Government of "failing the nightclub industry" by ending the furlough scheme and offering no further support.

"When the government announced that the UK would go into lockdown on March 23, 2020, non-essential businesses that were made to close were given support via the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which allowed them to keep their staff by paying 80 per cent of employees wages, also eligible businesses were entitled to receive support of up to £25,000 under the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant," it says.

"For many businesses including pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues this has been helpful, as they have been allowed to reopen since July 4 with social distancing measures in place.

"However, with the Job Retention Scheme (furlough scheme) ending on October 31 and the grant many businesses received most likely used by now to cover expenses, nightclubs that are still not allowed to reopen are going to very much struggle, and some may need to close altogether if they do not receive further support.

"The Government is failing nightclubs because not only are they currently not receiving additional support that they will need, but they are also completely left in the dark as to when it will be possible they will even be allowed to reopen.

"If The Planet Nightclub were to ever be forced to close this would have a huge impact on the city, seeing as Wolverhampton is very much known for its rock community and many people have enjoyed coming over the years. We simply cannot allow this to happen."

Many patrons of the venue have expressed their support for the nightclub on the fundraising page.

"Planet holds some of the fondest memories for me. Also some not so great but I'd be lost without a cheeky VK and Hard Times vibrating through my soul," Rebecca Allen said.

Joe Cogavin added: "This is the longest I’ve not been to planet in a good eight years. Can’t wait to return to what’s basically my Mecca. Stay safe."

The Planet Nightclub on Westbury Street

"I don't live in Wolverhampton anymore but the Planet was always there for me whenever I needed a good time and was by far the best club in Wolves," Nicky Eustace commented.

"I will definitely come back when I can and will gladly give more if needed to make sure it happens, good luck guys."

Alison Marie Sleigh said: "Planet isn't just a nightclub, it's been like a second home to all of us. Would be an utter disgrace if we gave up and didn't do everything we could to help out."

Those who donate to the fundraiser will be the first to return to the nightclub when it reopens, the fundraiser states.

Donors will receive free entry on the club's reopening night.

For more information and to donate, click here.

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