COMMUNITY members have rallied together to help save a popular asset which was fighting to survive.

Rum’s Eg, on Bell Street, got in to financial difficultly earlier this month following a period of difficult trading.

Management then sent out a plea to residents, calling for £15,000 to get the charitable business back on track.

Now, just two weeks after that call, more than £12,000 has been donated, which has helped the gallery stay afloat.

“We would not be here today if it were not for the donations,” admitted general manager Rebecca Maddox.

“We reached a point that we were facing closure within a week. The money really has rescued us and hopefully we will now see sales turn around.”

She added: “We received donations from £5 to £500, but every donations has made a big difference. A huge thank you to everyone who has come out to support us.”

Set up in 2012 as a place for local artists to showcase their work, the gallery has blossomed into one of Romsey’s most popular place to visit.

The independent business, founded by Siriol Sherlock, also has a café and hosts regular exhibitions.

But, Ms Maddox has put the business’ difficulties down to the changing political and economic climate which has tightened the purse strings on luxury spending.

“The amount of paintings we have sold has gone down,” she said.

“This money helps us a great deal.

“Last year we made a loss which meant we had no buffer for our period of April to June (the business’ quietest trading months).”

Now the business is sitting down with industry heads, which include representatives from local councils, to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

“We want to make sure the donations are used to help move us forward, not just to get out of this situation,” added Rebecca.

“We are all looking at how to tweak the business to make it future proof.”

The volunteer directors of Hampshire Art and Craft CIC, who run Rum’s Eg, said: “This financial support has given us the breathing space needed to continue trading whilst we evaluate the business and take measures to avoid getting into difficulties again.

“We recognise that this is a difficult economic climate for the arts and retail across the board, and there are many others facing similar threats. We hope to be able to draw on the support we clearly have to move forward stronger.”

If you would like to donate to the gallery or volunteer your time to help, pop in to their Bell Street business, phone 01794 511220 or visit: