Bournemouth Folk Club has announced its autumn line-up featuring a host of star names - and a new venue.

Folk enthusiasts Jo Elkington and Leo MacKenzie have taken over the reins of the club from stalwart Paul Burke who ran it for 23 years but decided to call it a day in his mid-70s after the Covid-19 pandemic hit live music last year.

Music photographer and booking agent Jo and professional musician Leo have moved the club from the Shelley Theatre in Boscombe to St Ambrose Church in Westbourne and are staging four gigs later this year.

The pair have worked together on musical promotions in the past, including programming the music for Wimborne Minster Folk Festival in 2019. They also host the Totally Folked podcast.

Jo said: “We are honoured to have been given the responsibility for running and safeguarding the future of this great folk club at a time when live music certainly needs a boost.

“We are grateful to Paul for handing it over in such fine condition and we will be putting on some top class and varied shows in this wonderful new venue, starting in September.”

Leo, half of The Last Inklings folk duo and a member of acclaimed Ninebarrow’s band, is a session musician, peripatetic music teacher for several local secondary schools and a qualified prehistorian.

He said: “There is a thriving folk scene across Dorset and promoting this club is an important way to bring this wonderful genre to even more people. It has been a hard eighteen months for everyone, and we are really looking forward to the new season.

“Our autumn season has a host of star names and therefore we expect tickets to sell quickly as audiences return to live performance, so please don’t hesitate to avoid disappointment.”

Paul, who continues to co-organise Purbeck Valley Folk Festival with daughter Catherine, said it was time to bow out, but he wished Jo and Leo well and hoped to attend as many gigs as possible.

He said: “Bournemouth Folk Club gave me a lot of pleasure, brought wonderful audiences, and a wide range of fabulous music. I reckon the new organisers Jo and Leo have what it takes to make it a great folk club into the future.”

Bournemouth Folk Club’s autumn season begins on September 18 with Sam Carter and Nick Hart and runs monthly until December, with many of the artistes originally booked for 2020 filling the slots.

Jo added: “We will be continuing with some covid safety measures this autumn, including running at 65 per cent capacity and requesting face coverings be worn while moving around the building. We will be keeping a close eye on the situation and any guidance so check the website for the latest updates.

“This autumn will see a return of our usual format of two 45-minute sets of music with a 20-minute interval, and a bar offering a selection of soft and alcoholic drinks will be available."