A beloved Manchester music venue could be forced to close its doors for good due to construction of the Northern Hub, according to its landlord – despite a council meeting claiming it will ‘not impact’ the pub.
The Star and Garter, situated nearby Picadilly Station, is set to be affected by three year’s worth of railway improvements designed to stimulate economic growth in the city.
The venue has a rich musical heritage, providing a launch pad for fledgling bands and regularly plays host to celebrity faces including Chloe Sevigny, Liam Fray and Charlie Brooker.
Landlord and proprietor, Andy Martin, told MM that he fears the Grade II-listed building may become isolated during the construction, leading his business to extinction.
“The Northern Hub may retain the Star and Garter building, but it will impact on the business so greatly, that we will be forced to close for up to three years during the construction, with no means to support the business,” he said.
At an executive council meeting on January 21, members expressed their satisfaction that the live music venue could remain open during the extensive construction of the Northern Hub.
At the meeting it was noted: “Members were pleased that the option being taken forward retains the Star and Garter public house and were anxious that the proposal did not impact on the capacity of the business to continue to operate successfully.”
However Mr Martin believes the conclusions made in the meeting are ‘completely wrong’.
“What it feels like now is the council is shaking our hand and thanking us for being caretakers of a listed building for 25 years,” he said.
“But they’d like it back because they stand to make a huge profit on it after Network Rail or London and Continental Railways buy it and sell it on to the highest bidder.”
Network Rail have also confirmed that during the 36 months of development, Fairfield Street – the only road of access to the venue – will be shut.
Mr Martin highlighted Manchester Council’s lack of development and rejuvenation in the surrounding area, which has also affected his business.
“[Manchester Council] have ignored the area of the city centre which the Star and Garter stands in over 25 consecutive years.
“We are ultimately the only business left operating for 200 yards in every direction.
“Maybe the council are aware of it and are just sort of stood around with their hands in their pockets and whistling innocently like a Cockney Spiv in a film set in 1950s Britain.”
Councillor Kevin Peel of Manchester city centre when questioned on the expansion for the Northern Hub said: ”I can’t comment on the Star and Garter in particular as I have not received any complaints directly from the Landlord.
“However it’s worth noting that the Northern Hub will be hugely beneficial to local business when completed – it’s going to be very positive for the whole area.”
Image courtesy of spaztacular, with thanks.