Tim Westwood has spoken out about Manchester City Council’s decision to close Antwerp Mansion, a beloved student nightclub.
The legendary Rusholme venue will close its doors for the last time this month after seven years of unrivalled notoriety in south Manchester’s nightlife scene.
Westwood, a veteran DJ with Capital XTRA, who precently played at Antwerp Mansion, told Mancunian Matters: “Nothing will ever replace that club.
“I think one of the things which really impressed me was it was just like a really organic venue.
“It wasn’t someone trying to create this vibe of a like, I don’t know, a combination of a haunted house, a combination of a squat party, a combination of a student party, and I think it worked amazingly well.”
“There’s never going to be a similar venue to that club.”
The Council cited a myriad of issues which factored into its decision to serve a closure notice on Antwerp Mansion, ranging from safety concerns for clubbers to mounting litter on and around the premises.
The picture the Council paints is one in which a small, multipurpose arts venue swelled into an unmanageable nightclub.
Rabnawaz Akbar, Councillor for Rusholme, said: “The venue at the evening became so successful, they lost control in how to manage it.”
He said that he lamented making the fateful decision: “It’s the last thing we want to do because the Council is not there to kind of make things difficult for people.
“I’m sorry to see it close, but I hope that, you know, somewhere another venue can be found.”
A petition demanding that the Council reverse its decision has garnered over 17,500 signatures.
Its creator, Alex Sansbury, said: “As we saw in London between 2005 and 2015, 50% of the nightclubs were shut down and, as a result, there were lots of underground parties and raves which are difficult to control.
If Antwerp [Mansion] is shut down, the same is going to happen in Manchester.”
He also criticized the Council for rejecting the validity of his petition because it was created on Change.org rather than directly with the Council’s website.
It is estimated that over a million people went to Antwerp Mansion since beginning its evening events in 2011.
Built in 1840, it was once the home of Belgian Consul (hence its name).
Westwood despaired: “Shutting it down for litter… You could shut down anywhere for litter.”