Shoreditch music venue Village Underground is here to stay
PUBLISHED: 10:22 23 January 2017 | UPDATED: 10:58 23 January 2017
The future of Shoreditch’s iconic music venue Village Underground has been secured for the next 15 years after Hackney Council rejected plans to redevelop the site.
The town hall has agreed a new lease with bosses at the independent creative hub, which opened in 2006 and hosts live gigs, club nights, exhibitions and theatre.
The announcement comes at the start of Independent Venues Week and the deal is expected to be signed in the next few days.
The former rundown warehouse, best known for having Tube trains perched on the roof, is a popular spot for the borough’s creative community and has studio space for 30 artists and pop-ups.
Founder Auro Foxcroft, who is also a partner of the Music Venue Trust, said: “We’re thrilled. It shows what a progressive local authority Hackney are and that they truly understand and value the importance of culture and grassroots venues as vital to our city and communities.
“It’s also very timely - there has been so much discussion and press over the plight of clubs and music venues - that this has been the first time in almost a decade that we’ve ended the year with the same number of grassroots venues as we started.
“The decline has stopped, the tide is turning and this is the beginning of good news and progress for London’s venues, clubs, and incredible nightlife.”
There will be no break in the lease until 2027, allowing Auro to plan long-term projects.
Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville, said: “This is a great example of a local authority working with and supporting a thriving and well-respected local independent venue.
“We are sending out a strong message about the value of our arts and music venues for the community and local economy and how as a council, we will do everything we can to protect them.”
Night Czar Amy Lamé also welcomed the news, saying it was a fantastic example of venues and councils working together.
“I’m deeply committed to protecting live music venues across the capital,” she said. “Over the past few years we’ve lost too many of these amazing venues so it’s vital that we act now to protect the ones we have and to encourage new places to open.”
A “rescue plan” for London’s grassroots music venues was published today and reveals the number of closures has been halted for the first time since 2007.
For more information about Village Underground, click here.