Skip to main content

Home Music Music News

Sheffield’s Leadmill not shutting, says venue operator after closure reports

It's instead going under refurbishment to make its "future is as exciting as its history"

By Charlotte Krol

Outside view of The Leadmill music venue in Sheffield
The Leadmill music venue in Sheffield, pictured in 2011. (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Glyn Baker)

The Leadmill music venue in Sheffield will not be closing, its operator has confirmed, despite being served with an eviction notice for next year.

The iconic venue will instead be undergoing a refurbishment that will “make the room better equipped to accommodate the modern wants of live music and club nights, for audiences and performers”, Mike Weller, head of music at Electric Group, said in a statement.

It comes after reports emerged that the venue, which opened its doors in 1980 and has hosted acts ranging Pulp and Coldplay to The Stone Roses and Oasis, was under threat of closure.

Dominic Madden, CEO and co-founder of Electric Group, said in a Twitter post earlier today (April 1) that it will “continue to operate as a special music venue” under possible new management.

Madden wrote: “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.”

Meanwhile, Weller added in his statement: “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.”

According to the BBC, venue bosses had told the publication that their landlord had served them with an eviction notice requiring them to quit the building in 2023. Since the news broke yesterday (March 31), fans, bands and a local MP had thrown their support behind a campaign to save it.

But The Electric Group has clarified the situation. The independent music venues operator bought the freehold to The Leadmill in 2017, which made it the “landlord” for Phil Mills, The Leadmill’s leaseholder. 

The Electric Group owns and runs the 1,500-capacity south London venue Electric Brixton and the 1,100-capacity Bristol venue SWX.

It also bought the freehold of the 02 Academy Newcastle (operated by Academy Music Group) in 2015, which is currently undergoing a £1.5million refurbishment ahead of re-opening as an independent music and club venue called NX in October.

In response to the initial reports that the venue would be shuttering, Leeds band Kaiser Chiefs reflected on playing the Yorkshire club in their early career, saying they had “very fond memories”.

They added on Twitter that closing The Leadmill would be “a huge loss not just for Sheffield and Yorkshire, but the whole UK music scene”.

Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh, who also serves as the Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, said that she would “fight all the way to save this historic Sheffield landmark”.

In response to Madden’s tweet earlier today, she wrote: “What ‘music people’ would boot out an iconic 42-year old Sheffield institution that has brought on countless acts over the years?”

A description on The Electric Group’s website reads: “Electric Group is proud of our venues, our people, the communities in which we have deep roots and we hope to long continue to make a valuable contribution.”

The company has said that more detailed information about the refurbishment will follow.