The Leadmill Sheffield: Government responds as petition over eviction passes 25,000 signatures

The campaign to preserve Sheffield's The Leadmill in its current form has suffered a blow after the Government responded to a petition.

By Robert Cumber
Friday, 22nd April 2022, 12:19 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd April 2022, 4:14 pm

The operators of the famous music venue on Leadmill Road are fighting to prevent their landlord, Electric Group, evicting them and taking over running the premises when the lease expires in March 2023.

The Leadmill launched a petition calling on Number 10 to help prevent them being forced out by suspending Section 25 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, so that tenants could not be evicted until a Government review has been concluded, and any reforms implemented.

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More than 25,000 people have signed a petition launched by the operators of The Leadmill in Sheffield, who are fighting to keep running the famous music venue after their lease expires in March 2023

More than 25,000 people have signed the petition since it went live earlier this month, but the Government has now responded saying it has ‘no plans’ to suspend the legislation because doing so would ‘not would not be a proportionate way of addressing the underlying issues with the legislation’.

The response from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities continues: “DLUHC is aware of concerns that the current commercial property legislation has not kept pace with the reality of the sector today. That is why, in December 2020, the Government committed to launching a review of the landlord and tenant relationship and the legislation surrounding it.

“Review of the commercial leasehold legislation will inform a new framework to support more efficient and flexible uses of space across high streets and town centres. The full scope of the review is yet to be confirmed; further details will be announced in due course. As such, the Government cannot support further intervention in the commercial property market until the review has delivered its recommendations.”

If the petition reaches 100,000 signatures it will be considered for debate in Parliament.

The Leadmill's operators have said that if they are evicted they will strip the venue back to a ‘derelict flour mill’, which they say is what they started with when they took over the building more than 40 years ago.

Electric Group, which runs other music venues in London and Bristol, has said it plans to invest around £1m in the premises and keep it going as a grassroots music venue.