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Sheffield Leadmill landlord granted shadow licence

The landlords of The Leadmill have been granted a shadow premises licence, amid a furore about the future of the Sheffield (UK) music venue.

The venue was bought in 2017 by Electric Group – the owner of London’s Electric Brixton, Bristol’s SWX and Newcastle’s NX – which in 2022 served an eviction notice on the current management, The Leadmill Ltd.

The Leadmill Ltd has claimed the venue would “no longer exist” if it is forced out and is behind the long-running public Save the Leadmill campaign.

Electric Group’s Dominic Madden, however, previously told IQ that the company “intends to continue operating the space as a music venue”.

The dispute culminated in a licensing sub-committee hearing this week, with Sheffield City Council today approving the Group’s application for a shadow premises licence, saying they had demonstrated they could “uphold all four of the licensing objectives”.

“We hope we can put the hostilities of the Save the Leadmill campaign behind us”

“The granting of this licence does not affect the current premises licence held by the venue,” A council spokesperson said. “It allows the second party to run the venue under this ‘shadow licence’ if the current premises licence were to be revoked or surrendered.”

Speaking to IQ today, Madden said: “This is a significant milestone – and we would like to extend our gratitude to Sheffield City Council and the Licencing Committee for focusing on facts, not smears and our outstanding track record of compliance.

“We hope that this decision can mark the beginning of a new chapter, where we can put the hostilities of the Save the Leadmill campaign behind us. Our repeated intention has always been clear – to secure The Leadmill as a thriving music venue for music artists and community projects.”

Around 100 protesters gathered outside the council officers as the hearing began this week, though it subsequently transpired that some of them were paid £40 by the venue to attend.

The Leadmill Ltd, meanwhile, said “the future of The Leadmill and its staff is far from over,” adding it was “considering our next steps over the coming few days”.

An appeal against the decision can be made to a magistrates’ court within 21 days, the local authority said.

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.


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