Manchester music venues Gorilla and The Deaf Institute have both been saved from closure.
Tokyo Industries, which owns clubs and bars including Impossible, The Factory and South, has snapped up both venues and says they’ll remain ‘at the forefront of the live music and club scene’.
Staff will keep their jobs as part of the terms agreed between the company and the venues’ current owners Mission Mars, which announced their closure last week.
In a joint statement, they said the venues will operate ‘in much the same way as they have done in the past’. Both hosted an eclectic programme of live music and club nights alongside their bars and kitchens.
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.”
Aaron said he had been working with event promoters SSD Concerts and The Charlatans frontman Tim 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.
“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, added: “The music industry is facing some of its toughest times at the moment.
“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.
“Gorilla is one of my favourite places to watch gigs in the whole of the north west’s amazing music scene.”
The deal was struck over the weekend and the legal process is ‘well underway’, they said. Staff are said to be ‘upbeat and excited’ by the news.
Roy Ellis, CEO of Mission Mars, said: “It’s really great news for our teams and the music loving people of Manchester that both venues have found such a perfect new home.
“The bad news announcement last week regarding the closure plans galvanised an unprecedented level of interest from passionate operators from across the region and even beyond.
“I’m extremely grateful that we’ve been able to find a new and appropriate new home for these amazing venues and people.”
Originally published by Manchester Evening News 21st july 2020. Source