The Leadmill launches official petition opposing eviction

A host of artists have pledged their support to the venue including Arctic Monkeys, Jarvis Cocker, Richard Hawley and Eddie Izzard

The current operators of The Leadmill in Sheffield have launched an official petition opposing their proposed eviction.

It comes after the iconic Sheffield venue and club told music fans of the “devastating news that in one year’s time, our Landlord is trying to evict us, forcing us to close” – leading to an outpouring of upset and support from the music world.

The current bosses of The Leadmill then responded to the owners, denying their intentions to close the venue. Leaders of Electric Group, the company who bought the freehold for the site in March 2017, argued that they’d be removing the current management but keeping the building as a music venue after renovations.

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Arctic Monkeys, Richard Hawley, Jarvis Cocker and Bring Me The Horizon’s Oli Sykes are among the Sheffield artists to have spoken out in support of the venue.

Arctic Monkeys performing in Sheffield in 2005 (Photo by Andy Willsher/Redferns/Getty Images)

Announcing the new online petition today (April 12), which you can gain access to here, the current operators said in a press release: “The Leadmill have organised an official E-Petition and are now reaching out to the citizens of Sheffield and beyond, as well as friends and colleagues in the music industry, to show their support in any way they can.

“This E-Petition is fighting to prevent landlords unfairly and unjustly evicting long standing tenants for their own financial gain. In circumstances where a tenant has invested a huge amount of money, time and effort in establishing themselves, has paid rent on time (even throughout COVID lockdowns) and has improved the fabric of the premises beyond recognition, it is inconceivable that the landlord should be able to evict and inherit the investment that the tenant has made. The Leadmill is a valuable asset to the community and an integral part of the local culture which cannot be destroyed in this way.

“The petition will also help to protect many other vulnerable businesses across the country who lease the buildings in which they operate from. Ninety-three per cent of grassroots music venues do not own the buildings that they operate within and are also at risk.”

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A Leadmill spokesperson also added: “This is an appalling attempt to shut down and evict The Leadmill by an unscrupulous landlord and is likely to continue happening to others unless we can get this changed in law.”

Operators at the venue also took to Instagram to urge people to sign up to the petition.

“This is an extremely important step in our bid to secure jobs for our workforce and for The Leadmill to remain at the heart of our community, so please do share this petition far and wide to secure our survival,” they added.

Over the years the venue has played host to a number of artists who have gone on to have huge success, most notably the Arctic Monkeys – who helped raise over £100,000 for the venue to survive COVID closures last year by raffling off one of Alex Turner‘s guitars.

The move to evict the current operators most recently prompted Jarvis Cocker to show further support by some Pulp-inspired artwork which stated “You Can’t Buy The Leadmill”.

Richard Hawley also unveiled details of two shows to help support Sheffield’s Leadmill venue yesterday (April 11) while Eddie Izzard joined the campaign to save The Leadmill by announcing two shows at the venue last weekend.

Arctic Monkeys’ ex tour manager, local venue owners, and others from the Steel City music scene also expressed uproar around the venue’s future.

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