The Leadmill, Sheffield’s longest-running music venue and nightclub, is due to close after being served an eviction notice.
After a year-long battle with landlords, The Leadmill announced yesterday that plans to evict the venue are now being moved forward following an application for a premises licence by landlords.
The venue was purchased as a freehold in 2017 by Electric Group (Electric Brixton London, SWX Bristol, NX Newcastle), who are now looking to remove current management in order to run the space themselves. The name Electric Sheffield has also been registered.
“If granted, this would allow them to operate their own business from this location,” the venue explained on Instagram. “This could result in The Leadmill ceasing to exist after 43 years.”
First opened in 1980 in its current form, The Leadmill is Sheffield’s longest-serving music venue and nightclub situated in a former flour mill, originally a community centre. The venue has previously hosted the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Arctic Monkeys, and Oasis.
The Leadmill now calls on fans to object to the eviction notice. “We are asking for your help in objecting to their licence application before Wednesday, May 24,” they explained.
Dominic Madden, CEO of The Leadmill owners Electric Group, told Mixmag that the current lease at The Leadmill is coming to an end and 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," they said in a statement.
"Our venues in London, Newcastle and Bristol host hundreds of gigs and events every year for thousands of music fans. 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," they said. "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."
Those applying to object to the eviction notice must have a reason for doing so, NME reports, which include: prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, prevention of public nuisance and protection of children from harm.
“Since 1980 The Leadmill has spent millions of pounds on what was a derelict warehouse, transforming it into one of the U.K’s most respected venues where countless acts from across the globe have performed over the years,” reads the venue’s website.
Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter