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Olivia Stock
19 May 2023, 15:06

Historic Sheffield venue, The Leadmill, served eviction notice after 43 years, calls for public support

The much-loved venue has urged fans to help in their fight to avoid eviction

Photo of a red glowing The Leadmill sign inside the venue.
Tim Dennell

The Leadmill, Sheffield’s longest-running music venue and nightclub, remains at risk of closure after being served an eviction notice from its owners last year. The venue took to Twitter yesterday (17th May) to issue an update on the longstanding dispute with its London-based landlords, Electric Group.

The statement reads: “Our landlords are moving forward with their plans to evict The Leadmill by applying for a premises license. If granted, this would allow them to operate their own business from this location. This could result in The Leadmill ceasing to exist after 43 years. We're asking for your help in objecting to their license application before Wednesday, May 24th.”

News of the possible closure initially went public in March last year after Electric Group issued The Leadmill’s current management team an eviction notice. The news caused a strong reaction from the UK music community, leading to a #WeCantLoseTheLeadmill hashtag and a petition with more than 12,000 signatures.

Dominic Madden, CEO of Electric Group, however, has claimed that the licence application was simply “part of the transition process” because the current lease was “coming to an end.”

He continues: "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.”

The general public can object to a premises licence application if they are aware of any relevant reasons why it shouldn’t be granted. Any objections must be based on one or more of the following reasons – prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, prevention of public nuisance and protection of children from harm.

The Leadmill’s official website is currently encouraging members of the public to object to this new license application. The statement suggests that supporters research the way that the Electric Group's other three UK venues are run in order to judge its “experience and competence.”

Founded in 1980, The Leadmill has a rich lineage in electronic music as well as rock bands, hosting Gatecrasher’s first nights in Sheffield and a Warp Records album launch for Polygon Window (AKA Aphex Twin) in 1993. The venue pays homage to the golden age of raving with weekly club night,‘Galvanise’, where resident DJs spin the very best of 90’s and 00’s techno, trance, house and classic rave anthems.

When the eviction notice was first served in April last year, Warp Records took to Facebook to share their support for the venue: “The Leadmill is an integral part of the cultural mix of the city where Warp began – and its future is in jeopardy. Sign the petition #WeCantLoseLeadmill.”

Find out more on how to object to The Leadmill’s eviction here, and read the full Electric Group statement via Planet Radio.