Historic London venue The Borderline has announced that it is shutting its doors after losing the battle against escalating rent in the capital.
In a statement posted online, owners DHP Family explained that the closure would allow them to invest in other venues across the UK – including Bristol’s Thekla and Nottingham’s Rock City. Another venue in Birmingham is currently under construction.
“With ever increasing rents, rising business rates and ongoing redevelopment plans for Soho, we’ve taken the decision to close the venue by 31 August 2019,” they said. “We will reinvest into the other areas of its venue portfolio with £1million earmarked for work on the Thekla in Bristol; the upcoming 40th anniversary for the iconic Rock City in Nottingham and work underway to open its first Birmingham venue while The Garage in Islington has just won protection from the council’s local plan following a campaign to safeguard its future.”
It is with a heavy heart that we announce @theborderline will close its doors for the last time this summer. This has been an extremely difficult decision & one we are very sad to make.
— Borderline (@theborderline) May 13, 2019
Managing director George Akins said: “This has been a difficult decision, but given intentions by the landlord to increase the rent significantly for a second time since we took it over in 2016 as well as plans to redevelop the building housing the Borderline, we now know the venue doesn’t have a long term future so it makes no sense for us to continue to invest.
“We’ve had an amazing two years at Borderline with some fantastic shows and want to thank everyone for their support from agents, promoters and artists to all the thousands who have come to the gigs and club nights. We’ve put our all into trying to revive this iconic venue but unfortunately, it has been impossible to turn into a sustainable operation due to so many external factors. This is a sad day for all of us who love live music and believe in grassroots venues.”
Sad news about the Borderline but perfectly understandable reasoning. The refurb was great and it’s a great place to watch a show. Such a shame that central London is continuing to lose all of its counter culture due to escalating rents.
— Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly (@forgetcape) May 13, 2019
Paying tribute on Twitter, singer songwriter Sam Duckworth said: “Sad news about the Borderline but perfectly understandable reasoning. The refurb was great and it’s a great place to watch a show. Such a shame that central London is continuing to lose all of its counter culture due to escalating rents.”
All gigs scheduled at the venue will still take place before its closure on August 31.
The closure comes only months after a successful campaign to save Soho’s The Social – located less than ten minutes away from The Borderline.