A performing art competition popular with schools across Sussex has been cancelled for next year, it has been revealed.
The Rock Challenge runs annually with schools and colleges from across East and West Sussex among those competing against others in the region, first in Crawley at The Hawth and then onto the finals in Portsmouth.
But the venue for the finals of the competition, the Portsmouth Guildhall, expressed its ‘disappointment’ in learning it was not to go ahead next year.
A statement from The Guildhall Trust said it ‘was disappointed to learn that Global Rock Challenge Ltd has decided not to proceed with the UK Rock Challenge and JRock events in 2020 as the Global Rock Challenge Ltd parent company has not achieved the sponsorship levels required to produce the events at the high standard required’.
More than 20,000 students each year took part in the event which first came to Portsmouth Guildhall in 1996.
The statement said: “It was with this shared history and the vision of both organisations to inspire young people through music that, earlier this year, The Guildhall Trust approached Global Rock Challenge Ltd proposing that a potential partnership be explored to secure the events and support their expansion to engage even more young people throughout the UK.
‘It had been aimed that The Trust would support the events through 2019 before moving into full management and production responsibility in 2020, but The Trust now confirms that Global Rock Challenge Ltd did not wish to go ahead with the plans.’
Chief executive officer of The Guildhall Trust, Andy Grays said: “We have been working hard with the team at Global Rock Challenge Ltd over the last few months to put in place a sustainable agreement for the future which upholds the core values in which we all believe.
“We are deeply disappointed that the partnership will not go ahead and the parent company has cancelled events for next year, a decision that we know will cause great disappointment to a number of schools and children”.
Global Rock Challenge Ltd have bee contacted for a comment.
Dave Watmore, the general manager of The Hawth, also said he was disappointed that Rock Challenge was not going ahead in the future ‘as it was a fantastic, inspiring event for young people’.
Schools and businesses should contact the Global Rock Challenge Ltd team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 023 9298 5710