Sheffield’s Leadmill club ‘is not closing’, landlord says as it plans investment

The landlord of the Leadmill club in Sheffield said it will continue as a music venue after an announcement by its current management sparked fears for its future.

Bosses at the famous site said on Thursday their landlord was “forcing us to close” after being given an eviction notice requiring them to quit the building in a year.

But there was “never any question” of the venue shutting its doors, said owner the Electric Group, which promised a “substantial investment” when it takes over the running of the club next year.

A statement from the Brixton-based firm said: “The Leadmill is not closing.

“Independent music venues operator the Electric Group bought the Leadmill freehold in 2017, which made it the ‘landlord’ for Phil Mills, Leadmill’s leaseholder.

“Phil Mills’ tenancy runs until March 2023, after which Electric Group will oversee a substantial investment in the Leadmill – the sort of acclaimed facilities and sonic overhaul the company has already delivered at its venues in South London and Bristol.”

Mike Weller, the head of music at Electric Group, added: “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.”

Dominic Madden, Electric Group’s chief executive and co-founder, tweeted: “For avoidance of doubt, we are music people, we spend our lives running independent music venues and the Leadmill will continue to operate as a special music venue.

“The management may change but the song stays the same.”

The Electric Group owns and runs 1,500-capacity venue Electric Brixton in South London and SWX in Bristol.

It is also preparing a £1.5m refurbishment of the former O2 Academy in Newcastle, which will reopen in October as an independent music and club venue called NX.

The Leadmill opened its doors in 1980 and has played host to Pulp, Coldplay, Arcade Fire, Muse, Oasis, Stone Roses, The White Stripes, Jorja Smith and Michael Kiwanuka.

Bands, music fans and local MPs answered a social media appeal to support the venue after Thursday’s announcement.

Kaiser Chiefs said they had “very fond memories” of playing there, while Manic Street Preachers described it as “a magical place – one of the great venues”.

Sheffield music legend Jarvis Cocker responded to the closure fears by saying: “This had better be an April Fool’s joke.”