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Iconic UK music venue The Leadmill faces closure

Legendary live music venue The Leadmill says it is facing closure next year after its landlord issued a notice of eviction.

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.

Venue bosses yesterday (31 March) said their landlord had served them with an eviction notice requiring them to leave the building next year.

“Today we have received some devastating news that in one year’s time, our landlord is trying to evict us, forcing us to close,” reads a statement on the venue’s website.

“Since 1980 The Leadmill has spent millions of pounds on what was a derelict warehouse, transforming it into one of the UK’s most respected venues where countless acts from across the globe have performed over the years,” it continued.

Dominic Madden from landlord Electric Group told BBC they were “music people” and the Leadmill would continue “as a special music venue”. “The management may change but the song stays the same.”

“The management may change but the song stays the same”

Brixton-based Electric Group is an independent music company that owns a number of the UK’s most iconic live music and club venues.

The Leadmill has asked people to show their support by sharing the news and “your best memories that we can gather to help show them reasons why #WeCantLoseLeadmill”. Live music associations, fans, artists and even an MP have lent their support to the campaign.

Music Venue Trust CEO Mark Davyd called for the council to “immediately implement an Asset of Community Value status on the premises as the first step in ensuring the venue is initially protected from closure.”

“MVT will be working to ensure that once protected from immediate threat, the long-term future is secured,” he continued.

“Once again, the issue of who owns the premises rises to front and centre of the campaign to protect, secure and improve the UK’s grassroots music venues. The answer is that not a single venue in the country, no matter how important, is safe until we Own Our Venues.”

UK Music’s Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, says: “The Leadmill is an irreplaceable part of the cultural fabric of Sheffield and the whole UK music scene. It has nurtured some of our world-leading acts and been at the heart of the city’s musical life for decades. It cannot be allowed to close.”

“We also want local business leaders who benefit from the trade that The Leadmill brings to the city to work with the local community, music fans and the council to safeguard this jewel in the crown of our music scene,” continues Njoku-Goodwin.

“We will be supporting the work of the Music Venue Trust, which is already fighting to save this vital national asset. Losing The Leadmill would be a devastating blow to Sheffield and to the whole music industry – we must fight to save it.”

 


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Coronavirus: Numerous UK venues close in single day

A number of UK venues declared they were closing for good today, as the insolvency of two companies making up UK event and venue management specialist VMS Live leads to the shuttering of Hull venues the Welly and the Polar Bear, and Mission Mars-operated Gorilla and Deaf Institute in Manchester also announce permanent closures.

Hull Live reports that VMS CEO Bert van Horck and non-executive director Kate Forster yesterday (15 July) transferred their authority as directors for the VMS Live companies VMS Live (2011) Ltd and VMS Live (Venues) Ltd, with the expected loss of 20 full-time jobs..

As a result of the insolvencies of the two companies, Hull venues the Welly (600-cap.) and the Polar Bear (200-cap.), which VMS took on in 2018, as well as ticketing outlet Hull Box Office, are closing down.

The remaining four VMS Live companies, which operate/book venues including Eventim Olympia Liverpool (1,960-cap.), Asylum in Hull (1,100-cap.) and the William Aston Hall in Wrexham (1,200-cap.), will continue to operate as before.

“I am deeply saddened that we had to make this decision, following the completion of the yearly accounts, the announcements of the government and the bank reconciliation, which lead us to be at immediate risk of trading whilst insolvent,” comments van Horck, who has served as CEO of the company since 2019.

“I am deeply saddened that we had to make this decision”

“I would like to thank all of our staff on behalf of Kate and I for the magnificent efforts made to try and save these two companies, both between September and March during normal trading and beyond into the Covid-19 enforced closure.”

The news comes as two other well-loved UK venues, Mission Mars-operated Gorilla (600-cap.) and Deaf Institute (260-cap.) in Manchester, close under the pressure of Covid-19.

“The Deaf Institute and Gorilla have been at the forefront of the music scene in Manchester for many years and it is with great sadness that we announce that we will not be reopening,” says Mission Mars CEO Roy Ellis.

“This difficult decision has been made against the backdrop of Covid-19 and the enforced closure of all of our sites and with continued restrictions upon opening of live music venues.

“We appreciate that these music destinations are well loved and have provided an early stage for many acts in the North West and are therefore well known in the world of music.

“We would encourage any industry and music entrepreneurs who might be interested in this as an opportunity to please get in touch.”

 


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