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Marissa Cetin
31 October 2023, 16:41

Leeds' Sheaf St venue to close with immediate effect

Real estate development in the surrounding area "has had a devastating impact on our trade", the Southbank café, bar and events space said in its closure announcement

Leeds' Sheaf St venue to close with immediate effect

Leeds venue Sheaf St has shut its doors.

The café, bar and events space announced the permanent closure with "immediate effect" in a statement on its website and social media on 30th October. "This is a truly devastating statement we genuinely hoped we’d never have to write, but it’s the end of the line for Sheaf St", the venue's team wrote, pointing to the negative impact of real estate development in the area.

"The Aire Park development, which completely surrounds us, has had a devastating impact on our trade", the Sheaf St announcement continued. "The cafe has been forced to close since January this year, losing a vital stream of regular income with no compensation for the disruption. Our industry is facing a real crisis post-pandemic, with low attendance, rising costs, increasing fees, significantly reduced spend per head, and skyrocketing utilities and stock costs, all on top of trying to recoup huge pandemic losses."

"The business is no longer sustainable and cannot recover", the venue's team wrote. "We have tried everything possible before reaching this point.

Duke Studios, a creative workspace which shares the building with Sheaf St, will remain open.

Sheaf St's closure statement cites reasons similar to other recent UK music industry announcements, including Liverpool radio station and bar Melodic Distraction, music distributor Unearthed Sounds and Bristol venue Basement. In September, Music Venues Trust wrote an open letter to the UK government urging for help as 125 music venues closed down in 12 months

Sheaf St opened in 2017 in the Southbank of Leeds. In that time, it focused on making clubbing inclusive and accessible, hosting open decks nights and taking steps to make its space more welcoming to clubbers with disabilities. In 2021, owners The Wunderkind Group opened a 10,000-square-foot multi-purpose, industrial events space called Testbed

Read Sheaf St's statement in full via the venue's website.