Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has said he will do everything he possibly can to stop two of the city’s most beloved music venues from closing their doors.
Earlier today (June 16), it was announced that the Deaf Institute on Grosvenor Street and Gorilla on Whitworth Street have been unable to weather the storm caused by the coronavirus crisis, despite the government’s recent £1.57billion bailout for venues and arts spaces.
“The Deaf Institute and Gorilla have been at the forefront of the music scene in Manchester for many years and it is with great sadness that we announce that we will not be reopening,” Roy Ellis, Mission Mars CEO and founder told Manchester Evening News.
“This difficult decision has been made against the backdrop of COVID 19 and the enforced closure of all of our sites and with continued restrictions upon opening of live music venues.”
Responding to the news on Twitter, Burnham assured a fan that he and Greater Manchester Night Time Economy Adviser, Sacha Lord, would do everything they can to save the venues.
“Of course Shell,” he began his response. “Anyone who knows me knows that I love these two places. Please be assured that I will be working with @Sacha_Lord on this and we will both be doing everything we possibly can to save them as live music venues going forward.”
Of course Shell. Anyone who knows me knows that I love these two places. Please be assured that I will be working with @Sacha_Lord on this and we will both be doing everything we possibly can to save them as live music venues going forward. https://t.co/7BcyfEAaXR
— Andy Burnham (@AndyBurnhamGM) July 16, 2020
The Deaf Institute has been part of Manchester’s musical fabric for more than a decade, while Gorilla opened in 2012. Both have played host to some of the biggest names in music, including The 1975, Kylie Minogue, IDLES, and many more.
Earlier this month, the government stepped in with an unprecedented cash injection to help the arts, culture and heritage industries “weather the impact of coronavirus” – providing music venues, independent cinemas, museums, galleries, theatres and heritage sites with emergency grants and loans.
It followed extensive campaigning from more than 1,500 artists and industry figures who came together to call on the government to stop “catastrophic damage” to live music as part of the #LetTheMusicPlay campaign. The 300-capacity Deaf Institute was a part of the campaign.