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"The current Leadmill campaign is unfortunately misleading people into thinking we want to close the venue with no regard for its history"
By Lisa Henderson on 19 May 2023
The new owner of legendary UK music venue The Leadmill has responded to management’s fresh appeal for support of their anti-eviction campaign.
Since opening its doors in 1980, the Sheffield venue and club has hosted the likes of Pulp, Coldplay, The Stone Roses and Oasis, as well as early shows from Arctic Monkeys, Kings Of Leon and The Killers.
Last year, the venue’s management announced that it was facing threat of closure due to its landlord issuing a notice of eviction.
The Leadmill is owned by Electric Group — which also own London’s Electric Brixton, Bristol’s SWX and Newcastle’s NX.
The Group bought the site’s freehold in 2017 and previously told music fans that they had no intention of closing the venue when they end the current occupiers’ lease in 2023. “The management may change but the song stays the same,” Dominic Madden, CEO and co-founder of Electric Group, wrote on Twitter.
The management, however, hit back, arguing that they were being “exterminated by the landlord”. Yesterday (May 17), they made a new appeal to fans, asking for support after revealing that landlords were reportedly moving forward with eviction plans.
Posting on The Leadmill’s website, management wrote that the “general public are able to object to a premises licence application if they are aware of any relevant reasons as to why it should not be granted”.
“We recognise the roots of the Leadmill within the community and we are determined to see it succeed and thrive”
Now, Electric Group’s Madden has issued a fresh statement in response: “We have owned the Leadmill premises since 2017. With the current lease coming to an end, Electric Group has applied for a licence application as part of the transition process.
“As we have always maintained, we intend to continue operating the space as a music venue, focussing on a diverse mix of gigs, club nights and comedy events. We’re an independent music venue operator which is committed to music and investing in venues. We have been running licensed venues since 2003 and have never had any issue or license review.
“Our venues in London, Newcastle and Bristol host hundreds of gigs and events every year for thousands of music fans. Our team has many years of experience running venues, producing theatre and promoting gigs. When we purchased the freehold for the Leadmill in 2017 it was threatened with redevelopment into flats. We didn’t want that to happen, so we stepped in to buy it and save it – something the leaseholder was not prepared to do.
“The current Leadmill campaign is unfortunately misleading people into thinking we want to close the venue with no regard for its history. That is not the case. In fact, we want to invest in the future of the space – albeit one which will mark the start of a new chapter for a building which has many generations of history with a variety of different operators since it was first a flour mill.
“We hope to be a great custodian of the venue for the next generation. We recognise the roots of the Leadmill within the community and we are determined to see it succeed and thrive.”
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