The Leadmill: Government to respond as thousands sign petition to save venue
The petition is calling on the Government to suspend a section of the Landlord and Tenant Act in a bid to stop the managers of the venue being removed next year by the building’s owners.
Among those supporting the petition is Sheffield Heeley MP and Shadow Transport Secretary Louise Haigh.
She said on Twitter: “The Leadmill can’t be replaced. It’s not a building, it’s an ethos. It was made by Sheffield for Sheffield.
“Sign the petition, save The Leadmill.”
The petition has been signed by over 17,000 people since being set up last week.
As the petition has passed 10,000 signatures, the Government will provide a response to it.
If it reaches 100,000 signatures, the petition will be considered for a debate in Parliament.
The petition states: “The Government has said it will review the Landlord and Tenant Act.
“Section 25 of the Act can be exploited by Landlords, allowing them to expropriate the investment the Tenant has made into the premises, including any goodwill developed over many years.
“We are calling for a suspension of Section 25 (Grounds C to G), so that tenants cannot be evicted until a Government review has been concluded, and any reforms implemented.”
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 in a recent interview 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 recently 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.
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 show 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.
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