STATEMENT FROM LANCASTER MUSIC CO-OP
This week Lancaster Musician’s Co-op has been issued with a 6 month eviction order from our building in Lodge Street, Lancaster.
We have been serving musicians for the last 33 years, providing non-profit making affordable rehearsal and recording facilities for the local community and beyond.
For the last 16 years we have been in a state of limbo after the city council, who own the building, teamed up with a big property developer and earmarked our building and the land surrounding it for commercial development. A demolition order was served on our premises around 12 years ago as part of the development plans.
During this time, we have been unable to move forward as the City Council quashed negotiations for a long term lease and stalled any attempts by us to renovate and improve the building. At the time, we had a successful planning application approved to totally revamp the interior of the building to create a new purpose built recording studio, rehearsal rooms and venue. But without a long term lease we could not move forward with any of our plans.
A long term lease would have given us security and more importantly access to much needed funding to improve the building, enhance our facilities and realise our ambitions. It has been a very frustrating 16 year waiting game. During that time we were told Lancaster Music Co-op would be accommodated as part of any redevelopment of the site. However in April 2018, Lancaster City Council severed ties with the big developer and in July issued Lancaster Music Co-op with a huge list of impossible demands and repairs on the building.
Although we have been working our way through their list of repairs, we have now been issued with an eviction notice, ironically on the weekend of Lancaster Live Music Festival!
We must now FIGHT Lancaster City Council to SAVE LANCASTER MUSIC CO-OP!! This is a vital resource to Lancaster’s musicians and has an impact far beyond the city it serves. We must fight to save its future!
Lancaster Music Co-op is a non-profit making community organisation that has been providing music rehearsal rooms, equipment hire and recording facilities to the people of Lancaster and surrounding areas for the past 33 years.
It has become the beating heart of the City's music scene and has a whole host of musicians through its doors throughout the years who have gone on to be part of globally recognised acts such as James, The Prodigy, Maximo Park, British Sea Power, 3 Colours Red, Towers of London, Dr and The Crippens, The Milltown Brothers, The Heartbreaks, The Lovely Eggs and Massive Wagons (whose latest album reached the Top 10 in the UK National Album Charts!) alongside up and coming acts who have attracted BBC 6 Music's support such as Mr Ben and the Bens and 3D Tanx.
Many other people who have used the co-op have gone on to successful careers in the music industry such as Stereolab/Elastica producer Paul Tipler and Sound Designer for The Royal Shakespeare Company, Claire Windsor.
It was set up in 1985 by a group of university graduates who were desperate for a space to rehearse and record. Recordings made at the Co-op have received airplay on Radio One and BBC 6 Music, as well as being used in global advertising campaigns.
Lancaster has built up into a vibrant 'Music City' over the past 30 years and the Music Coop has been at the centre of this burgeoning music scene which has led to the birth of the hugely popular “Lancaster Music Festival”, which draws in 40,000+ visitors each year, as well as a substantial revenue stream for the city’s economy.
Simply put, Lancaster Music Co-op is absolutely vital to the city’s music community. Without the Music Co-op young bands wouldn't be able to afford to rehearse and record. It is a true community not for profit institution which is a huge asset to the city and has launched the careers of hundreds of musicians