Liverpool's Zanzibar Club to close, renewed hope for Hull venues

Liverpool's Zanzibar Club to close, renewed hope for Hull venues

Liverpool's The Zanzibar Club is to permanently close as a result of the "current climate of uncertainty" caused by the pandemic. 

The 300-capacity venue has hosted artists such as Noel Gallagher, The Coral, The Zutons, The Libertines and the 1975 down the years but, with "the probability of remaining closed for a year", operators have made the "heartbreaking decision" to close its doors for good. 

"Covid-19 has been a massive kick in the teeth for everyone," said director Scott Burgess in a statement. "There have been a tragic amount of lost lives. Peoples hopes, dreams and livelihoods completely destroyed. The entertainment and music industry has had the roughest ride of all. With business restrictions and lack of proper guidance, music venues will be among the last ones to reopen.

"The Zanzibar Club has been a true survivor over the past 30 years, but with the current climate of uncertainty and the probability of remaining closed for a year, we have had to make the heartbreaking decision to permanently close our venue.

"With very limited time left on our lease and too many years of wear and tear on our building structure puts us in a financially unattainable position to reopen."

In positive news for the sector, Hull venues The Welly and Polar Bear, which closed last month after two companies run by operator VMS Live went into administration, could yet be saved. According to the Hull Daily Mail, The Welly has been acquired by Eventim UK, while a crowdfunding bid is underway to reopen the Polar Bear as a community interest company.

Manchester's Gorilla and The Deaf Institute were recently saved after Tokyo Industries (TI) acquired the venues from previous operator Mission Mars. 

The government recently pledged £2.25 million of emergency funding to support UK grassroots music venues at imminent risk of collapse.

Up to 150 venues across the country are expected to benefit from the pot, which is the first portion of funding from the £1.57 billion arts recue package announced earlier this month by culture secretary Oliver Dowden.

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