The Leadmill Sheffield: Landlords deny plans to rename venue 'Electric Sheffield' despite trademark registered

The Leadmill’s landlords have denied they are planning to rename the iconic venue ‘Electric Sheffield’ – despite registering the name as a trademark in February.
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Support continues to pour in for the Sheffield venue from across the music and entertainment industry after its future was thrown into question last week.

The club’s landlords, Electric Group, plan to take over once the current management team’s 20-year lease runs out in March 2023, with plans to invest around £1m to preserve the building’s live music scene.

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There are fears over the future of the Leadmill in Sheffield
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In response, the venue’s current tenants published a heated statement online that they were being “replaced” and “eradicated”, while appealing for support with the #WeCantLoseLeadmill hashtag.

It also emerged that the landlords registered the trademark “Electric Sheffield” with the Government in February 2022.

A listing on the UK government’s Intellectual Property Office website shows that the application was filed by the Brixton-based company on February 3, 2022, for services relating to nightclubs, live entertainment, and serving food and drink.

Now, Electric Group’s head of music Mike Weller has released a stern statement in an email to publications in the music industry – including denying they are planning to rename the venue.

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It claim The Leadmill’s tenant, Phil Mills, offered to buy the freehold for the venue in 2015 for £150,000 but was turned down. When approached by The Star, The Leadmill declined to comment on this.

The email reads: “At the moment, social media doesn't reflect the facts.

“Given that we invest and operate in live music venues we were offered the building and got very excited. We started the process of buying the building in 2015 and concluded the deal in 2017.

“Our identity was made known to Phil Mills and his team and our intention to take over the venue at the end of the lease have been clear to Phil Mills ever since. So, The Leadmill's statement on Friday saying that the venue is closing is absurd and disingenuous.

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"As you all know, we don't run crap high street nightclubs. We are music venue operators and apart from a short period for a quick tidy up the Leadmill is not closing. We will of course be keeping the venue as live touring standard and will not be tampering with the venue's live capacity."

“We are taking legal advice in relation to the use of The Leadmill name. The current 'operator’ recently extended his trademark relating to the use of the name Leadmill but I can confirm we will not be calling the venue Electric Sheffield.

"We are also happy to engage with all the staff to make sure they are protected too.”

It comes as over 11,000 people have signed an unofficial petition set up in support of the venue.

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Scores of music stars and members of the public have thrown their support behind the #WeCantLoseLeadmill campaign.

Electric Group also operates several music venues across the UK. It grew out of the success of its refurbishment of the Brixton Fridge as Electric Brixton, and is set to relaunch the O2 Academy in Newcastle as independent venue ‘NX’.

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