Iconic Manchester venues Gorilla and Deaf Institute have been saved from closure by Tokyo Industries.
It was reported last week that the two venues were set to close after going into administration due to the restrictions of the Coronavirus lockdown.
Tokyo Industries, run by Aaron Mellor, already own a raft of Manchester venues including Factory and Impossible stepped in and saved both venues which were previously owned by Mission Mars.
Mellor believes that these grass roots venues such as these are vital to the industry.
He told the Guardian that these venues will ‘remain at the forefront of the live music & club scene’.
Mellor added: “Over the weekend, we’ve put together some great ideas with SSD Concerts and Tim Burgess to help save both venues and their existing operating style in a post-COVID-19 world.
“We’re not so keen on this ‘new’ normal and want to keep the ‘old’ normal alive for when we all get through this.”
Burgess, lead singer of The Charlatans, helped facilitate the change of ownership and tweeted that the venues “will be kept as live music venues as we know & love them.”
So, looks like the story is out – @DeafInstitute & @thisisgorilla have been saved and will be kept as live music venues as we know & love them
I’ve been talking with the new owners over the weekend & we’ll be doing all we can to help with the next chapterhttps://t.co/mDb4sdGyz2
— Tim Burgess (@Tim_Burgess) July 21, 2020
Meanwhile, MM spoke to Hattie Pearson, long-standing DJ at Deaf Institute’s monthly night Girls on Film, who said: “I am absolutely ecstatic that Deaf institute and Gorilla have been saved. The guys backing it have buckets of experience and I know it’s in very capable hands.
“I also know that there was a lot of interest from them being taken on after such a huge amount of publicity last week and I am confident that the new owners will do a brilliant job of preserving the heritage and develop them into even more popular venues.
“It is absolutely vital that these venues can continue trading. They are grassroot venues that provide so many acts with a place to play at that stage in their career at a medium-sized capacity.”
It has also been announced that the staff at both venues are being retained, and that their jobs are safe.
Pearson had earlier taken to social media to celebrate the news alongside the great and good of Manchester’s cultural scene.
— Hattie Pearson (@hattiepearson) July 21, 2020
— Rick Lees (@ricklees) July 21, 2020
Some great news for live music fans in Manchester (and hopefully it will lead to other good news for venues around the U.K. ) @DeafInstitute and @thisisgorilla have been saved from closure – by a team that includes our friend @Tim_Burgess…https://t.co/7iDdH5FwIQ pic.twitter.com/7NETinFTS8
— Chris Hawkins (@ChrisHawkinsUK) July 22, 2020
— Sacha Lord (@Sacha_Lord) July 21, 2020