Manchester’s Gorilla and Deaf Institute have been saved from closure

"The cultural fabric of our city centres depends on venues like these"

Manchester’s Gorilla and The Deaf Institute have been saved from closure.

It comes after it was initially announced last week that the grassroots venues will permanently shut their doors after suffering a huge financial hit due to the coronavirus crisis.

Less than 24 hours later, Greater Manchester’s Night Time Economy Adviser Sacha Lord told NME that both venues were on the verge of being saved after early talks and now Tokyo Industries, which owns other clubs in the city including Impossible, The Factory and South, has purchased both venues, according to the Manchester Evening News.


The Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess also took to Twitter in response, adding: “So, looks like the story is out – @DeafInstitute & @thisisgorilla have been saved and will be kept as live music venues as we know & love them. I’ve been talking with the new owners over the weekend & we’ll be doing all we can to help with the next chapter.”

Staff will keep their jobs as part of the terms agreed between the company and the venues’ current owners Mission Mars.

In a joint statement, they said the venues will operate “in much the same way as they have done in the past”.

Aaron Mellor, founder of Tokyo Industries, said: “These are extremely difficult times for all grassroots music venues around the UK. It’s vital venues like Gorilla and The Deaf Institute are kept alive, the cultural fabric of our city centres depends on venues like these.”

Mellor added that he had been working with event promoters SSD Concerts and Burgess on the rescue plans.


“Over the weekend we have put together some great ideas with SSD Concerts and Tim Burgess (The Charlatans) to help save both venues and their existing operating style in a post Covid world,” he said.

Manchester’s Deaf Institute Credit: Alamy

“We’re not so keen on this ‘new’ normal and want to keep the ‘old’ normal alive for when we all get through this.”

Steve Davis, from SSD Concerts, also hailed the decision. “Ever since I first promoted a Charlatans acoustic show at The Deaf Institute 10 years ago, I have had a real love for the venue so it will be an honour to work on the next chapter in their stories,” he said.

“Gorilla is one of my favourite places to watch gigs in the whole of the north west’s amazing music scene.”

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