Occupants and management of the Leadmill, an iconic venue in Sheffield, received the news that they would be evicted from the property next year, believing that the venue would close down as a result.
However, Electric Group, which bought the Leadmill in 2017 and became a landlord for Leadmill’s leaseholder Phil Mills, said that the company will oversee a ‘substantial investment in the Leadmill’ after Mills’ tenancy runs out in March 2023, and that it will not be closing down.
Mike Weller, head of music at Electric Group, said: “There was never any question of us closing the Leadmill, despite all the social media chat.
“The refurb will make the room better equipped to accommodate the modern wants of live music and club nights, for audiences and performers.
“We want to ensure the Leadmill’s future is as exciting as its history.”
Despite Electric Group arguing that the venue would not close, the Leadmill tweeted: “You are evicting the Leadmill and forcing us out of business #WeCantLoseTheLeadmill.”
A further post from the Leadmill said that it was “being exterminated by the landlord”.
— The Leadmill (@Leadmill) April 1, 2022
The live music venue first opened its doors in 1980 in the English city and has hosted some of Britain’s biggest acts including The Stone Roses, Oasis, Pulp and Coldplay.
Venue bosses were told that they must leave the building next year and in response, the Leadmill started a social media campaign #WeCantLoseLeadmill.
The Leadmill said on Twitter: “Today we have received some devastating news that in one year’s time, our Landlord is evicting us and forcing us to close.
“Please show your support by sharing this news and sending us your best memories that we can gather to help display all the reasons why #WeCantLoseLeadmill.”
Today we have received some devastating news that in 1 year's time, our Landlord is evicting us and forcing us to close.
— The Leadmill (@Leadmill) March 31, 2022
British band The Kaiser Chiefs voiced its disappointment on Twitter and said: “We played Leadmill in our early days and not only do we have very fond memories, it really helped us too. It would be a huge loss not just for Sheffield and Yorkshire, but the whole UK music scene. #WeCantLoseLeadmill.”
Music Venue Trust, a charity that aims to protect and improve UK grassroots music venues, said it was aware of the threat to Leadmill and that it was working with the venue’s team to make sure it survives.
UK Music, a British umbrella organisation for the music industry, also voiced its support and said: “The Leadmill is part of the DNA of the Sheffield and South Yorkshire music scene.”