Leadmill building owner registered Electric Sheffield name in February

The owners of The Leadmill building who are controversially planning to replace the famous music venue’s management registered the name Electric Sheffield in February, it has emerged.

A massive campaign to save the music venue in its current form has been backed by the likes of Arctic Monkeys and Jarvis Cocker after the current management revealed they are due to be kicked out in March next year - a move they say will spell the end of The Leadmill.

The owners of the building, a London company called Electric Group, had denied the management change would result in the venue closing and said they intended to invest in the facility. Electric Group’s website describes the company as a joint venture between chief executive Dominic Madden and Jake Lewis, whose family own the River Island retail chain.

The company said it had purchased The Leadmill freehold in 2017, making it the landlord for leaseholder Phil Mills. Mr Madden said on Twitter on Friday: “The Leadmill will continue to operate as a special music venue. The management may change but the song stays the same.”

The future of The Leadmill is under question.

Mr Madden said in an interview last week he had taken legal advice on retaining the existing name which he said he hoped to keep as the Leadmill is a “music institution”.

But the club’s management have said they own the Leadmill name and brand and “without us there is no Leadmill”.

In a statement, they said: “It is the hard-working, dedicated and local family of staff that have put 42 years’ worth of their blood, sweat and tears into making it the cultural asset it is today.”

It has now emerged that on February 3 this year, Music Venues Limited, which has Mr Madden as a director and operates from the same building as the Electric Group, filed a trademark request for the name Electric Sheffield.

The issue was first highlighted on Twitter by Sheffield-based photographer Rob Nicholson.

The Intellectual Property Office states the name is registered as a trademark under Class 41 - relating to live entertainment and nightclub services - and Class 43 - relating to club services for the provision of food and drink.

Other trademarks registered to Music Venues Ltd include Electric Brixton, the company’s existing venue in London, and NX, the name of the new venue it plans to open in Newcastle on the site of the former O2 Academy venue in the city.

Companies House accounts state that Music Venues Ltd became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Electric Group Holdings Ltd in June 2020, having previously been a subsidiary of Electric Group Ltd.

Mr Madden and Mr Lewis are directors of Electric Group Holdings Ltd.

Electric Group did not respond to request for comment.

More than 10,000 people have signed a petition calling for The Leadmill to be retained. Sheffield Council has said while it cannot directly intervene, it may be possible for campaigners to “try and formally protect the venue’s use going forward”.

Eddie Izzard announces dual shows

Eddie Izzard is to play two special shows at The Leadmill as part of the campaign to save thee venue.

Izzard will perform an abridged version of the comedian’s Wunderbar show on Saturday, followed on Sunday by an individual performance of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations.

Tickets for the Saturday show cost £30, with the Sunday event priced at £25.

Izzard, who went to university in Sheffield, has described The Leadmill as “a great beacon for new bands and rock music in Sheffield and South Yorkshire”.

For more information, or to book, visit https://theleadmill.seetickets.com.

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