Thank you for contacting me following the shocking news that the Leadmill as we know it is fighting to survive. This is a matter that is very close to my heart as both a local MP and, more importantly, someone who’s been going to gigs and clubbing at the Leadmill since I was a teenager. The Leadmill has always been one of my favourite venues, I’ll do anything I can to support it and have been working closely with the owners to protect its future.
As you know the venue’s landlord Electric Group served an eviction notice to The Leadmill last month with the intention of running a new venue in the premises.
The Leadmill have spent millions of pounds on what was once a derelict warehouse, transforming it into a venue with international acclaim, hosting acts from across the globe. The Leadmill has huge cultural and community significance, synonymous with Sheffield’s vibrant music scene and night-time economy.
I have been really clear: you simply cannot buy the Leadmill, it is far more than bricks and mortar. The Leadmill means a great deal to the people of Sheffield and music lovers across the country, as evidenced by the coverage and growing support around it, for example.
The Leadmill has also been pivotal as a creative springboard for bands from Sheffield and across the north, such as Pulp and the Arctic Monkeys, who have gone on to make an enormous contribution to the music industry. It is an essential part of the UK’s cultural heritage and an asset to our creative industries, which we cannot lose. And I’ve spoken out about this and the need for more venues in Sheffield and across the country in parliament before.
We have already lost so many fantastic venues over the years, like the Boardwalk and The Harley. These small venues are vital for a vibrant music scene and help encourage and nurture new talent.
It has been truly encouraging to see the public support for the Leadmill. The Leadmill has worked hard to get through the pandemic and it’s quite horrifying to think a landlord from outside the city could strip all of this away in one fell swoop.
I understand that The Leadmill will be fighting on all fronts and I will be supporting them in every possible way. Whether that be politically, legally or socially across Sheffield.
I have recently signed a petition that is demanding the suspension of Section 25 of the Landlord and Tenant Act (Grounds C to G). This is vital to support the Leadmill as currently 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.
Therefore I am calling for a suspension of Section 25 (Grounds C to), so that tenants cannot be evicted until a Government review has been concluded, and any reforms implemented.
I would like to encourage you to add your name to this petition via this link: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/614202
Finally I will continue to use my platform to highlight this moral injustice and urge the Government to ensure the long term security of this unique and historic venue.
Thank you again for contacting me about this important issue, please follow my social media and website for updates regarding this matter.