As a massive music lover, this situation hurts and I want to find a solution. We love regeneration but we love music too.
I do think we need to be clear about the efforts we have made so far.
We have been working for three years since we acquired the property to try to find a suitable venue for great gigs to happen. It was very important to us to give the Hub as much notice as possible; so we even moved the Millbay programme around to give the Hub a further 12 months extending to June 2019.
We have together with the Hub team looked at and visited numerous properties team since 2016. These have included existing nightclubs, pubs, vacant city centre shops, theatres and even the God TV building. In addition we have looked at every single property owned by the Council including the Guildhall and some of our warehouses.
The issue is the promoter – not unreasonably – does not want to buy a building – they just want somewhere to hold gigs. We want somewhere for them to hold gigs!
After three years of trying to find somewhere, it has become pretty clear that Hub is part of a bigger issue for live music in the City – while we have the promotors and the audiences, we do not have the privately owned venues – all necessary for a cracking music scene.
I will not let this slide and want to redouble our efforts. I will now call a round table meeting with promoters and leading lights of live music to discuss what this city needs. This live music summit will seek to find practical solutions to what is a difficult problem for Plymouth and other cities.
Nothing says rock and roll like a Council-owned nightclub, said no-one, ever.
If there are landlords who own buildings who think they can be back brought into life – we are all ears. Talk to us, tell us where and we’ll take a look at it.
Plymouth has had an amazing music scene for many years – it can carry on, but it needs more than just the council to make this happen.