Buyers save Manchester venues Gorilla and The Deaf Institute from closure

Credit: The Deaf Institute.

Popular Manchester music venues Gorilla and The Deaf Institute have been saved from closing down after a week of uncertainty around their futures.

It was announced last week that both venues would be closing for good, thanks to the financial effects of COVID-19. Previous owners Mission Mars said they were unable to keep them running even once live music venues are eventually permitted to reopen.

However, it was subsequently revealed in a joint statement from the old and new owners that Tokyo Industries would be buying and reopening both venues. The company already owns more than thirty venues in the UK, including the popular Manchester nightclubs The Factory and South.

The legal process is already well underway and Tokyo Industries said that it plans to keep both venues operating “in much the same way as they have done in the past”.

This is despite Mellor also saying he expects a “difficult few months” ahead after the company was told by the government that restrictions on live music venues would likely be in place until the end of 2020.

The announcement has pleased Manchester music lovers as both venues are important in the city’s music scene. The Deaf Institute first opened in 2008 and has hosted huge names such as Florence and the Machine, The 1975 and Catfish & The Bottlemen earlier on in their careers. Gorilla is a slightly younger venue, opening in 2012, but has similarly seen popular indie bands such as Circa Waves and Glass Animals performing on its stage.

Both venues also hold themed club nights, such as the Lean and Bop and emo nights which are popular with students. They also provide stages for up and coming musicians from the near-by Royal Northern College of Music and Manchester Music College.

The news was well-received on social media, where people had been mourning the loss of the venues. Several high-profile Mancunians expressed joy at the announcement, such as The Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess, who initially tweeted his regret at the closure of the venues and has now said he will be “doing all [he] can to help with the next chapter”.

Words by Serafina Kenny.

25th July 2020.

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