Another UK venue bites the dust: The Roadhouse Manchester. While it hasn’t been confirm yet as to the exact reason, profitability and / or changes to planning laws are surely the cause.
The Roadhouse Manchester, in the cities Northern Quarter, which has been open for 22 years, confirmed rumours yesterday that the venue is to close, with social media statements saying…
“Right folks, unfortunately the sad news is true. The Roadhouse closes it’s doors for the final time on May 31st 2015. We’ve had an immense time here for the last two decades and are incredibly proud of the legacy we’ll leave behind and the vibrancy we have brought to the Manchester music scene over the years. Nothing lasts forever and we are determined to see out these final months with the same verve with which we began. This news is obviously delivered with a heavy heart but really, let’s make this final run another unforgettable chapter of an historic venue. Basically, come and party with us harder than we ever have before!“
The ongoing struggle for venues to stay open is being highlighted by the likes of the Music Venue Trust, who estimate that up to 10% of the UK live music venues are about to hit the skids. The Roadhouse, Manchester joins the likes of Newcastle’s Legends and Trillians, Leeds Cockpit, Cardiff’s Bogiez, Birmingham’s The Crown, and Manchester’s own NQ Live all of which have closed in the last 18 months. While the likes of Bristol’s The Fleece and Guildford’s Boileroom are under threat from new planning laws that allow developers to build housing in non-residential areas, causing new tenants to then launch noise abatement complaints against venues that have been there for generations.
The Music Venue Trust are asking the Government to enact the ‘agent of change principle’ whereby it will be the building developers who become responsible for ensuring adequate sound proof is provided in newly built accommodation. Currently they have no such obligation, and can basically build where they like, forcing existing business (i.e live music venues) to the expense of sound-proofing, or closing down altogether.
The ‘night-time economy’, of which live music is a huge part, is worth £66 billion to the UK each year. This isn’t just a niche sector, this is a huge industry whose demise would have massive knock-on effects across the UK. Without customers employment and investment in venues, pubs, restaurants, take-aways, taxi firms, and other entertainment industries ceases. Once there is a dearth of these businesses in an area, a town or city has a lack of night life, which can then seriously impact who lives in an area. In short it causes an increase in unemployment, and a decrease in services, investment and locals with enough income for a social life.
Roadhouse Manchester to close. Another venue lost.