Business News Live Business

London club Printworks to reopen in three years

By | Published on Wednesday 3 May 2023


London nightclub Printworks has announced that it plans to reopen in three years, following a big closing down party that took place on Monday.

Southwark Council approved plans to redevelop the site on which Printworks sits last year. Following more than 700 objections and an 11,000 signature petition, the council formally noted the opposition and conceded that the club venue had been “very successful”.

However, it pointed out that – when the club began operating in the borough in 2017 – the plan was always for it to be there temporarily while a strategy was developed and agreed for the permanent future use of the site, which previously housed a newspaper printing plant.

That said, at the same time the council and developer British Land confirmed that they intended to have some sort of permanent cultural space on the site alongside the offices and shops that will be built there, adding that they would be working with the operators of Printworks – Broadwick Live – on making that happen.

Then, in September, the Printworks team said that they were “in detailed talks” to reopen the venue once redevelopment work is completed. While at the time they said they were “positive” about how things were going, nothing had been confirmed. However, now, seemingly it is a done deal.

“We are delighted to announce that Printworks hopes to return in three years and that we will continue to work with our partners at British Land to create the future cultural venue that retains the essence of the iconic Press Halls”, says Simeon Aldred, Director Of Strategy at Broadwick Live.

“Printworks has brought lasting impact to our scene, to our city, to artists and our local community. The future Printworks venue aims to build on this, bringing together all the best in electronic music and visual arts … as well as hosting some of the world’s best orchestras, ballet companies and other artforms”.

Welcoming the news, London Night Czar Amy Lamé comments: “London’s world-famous nightlife is the heartbeat of our capital and Printworks has played a dynamic role bringing together culture, music and entertainment and attracting artists and visitors from all over the world. I am delighted there is an exciting future ahead for Printworks and I will continue working with all involved to ensure they thrive”.

Although Printworks itself is set to return, the Night Time Industries Association used its closure this weekend to note that plenty of other clubbing spaces are currently facing closure as well because of the significant financial challenges they face, with most of them unlikely to make a comeback.

“Printworks has been described as ‘the theatre of dreams’, a ‘cornerstone of culture for the capital’, and as this iconic space closes it will leave a huge void in London’s music venue scene”, says NTIA CEO Michael Kill. ”For many fans this venue will be hard to let go. It has shaped communities, nurtured talent and has an emotional connection with millions of music lovers from around the world”.

“As we say goodnight to this iconic space, we recognise that clubs and venues across the country are in crisis, with recent figures showing 32% of clubs closing since 2019, and only 865 nightclubs remaining in the UK, with ten nightclubs closing permanently every month”, he goes on.

Listing some of the specific challenges, he goes on: “With the impacts of Brexit, energy and cost inflation biting, we need the government to address the immediate issues faced by some of the hardest hit business sectors”.

“The night time economy has already suffered irreparable damage, and similar to the wider hospitality sector will face further losses over the coming months, if we do not see immediate and decisive support from the government for the remaining businesses”.

As for what that support might consist of, he concludes: “It will require swift and direct action in terms of a sector wide VAT reduction, strict management of energy supply and relief by [energy regulator] OFGEM, a reevaluation of business rates relief particularly for late night businesses and a lowering of visa thresholds for international workers”.

These are, of course, support measures that the wider live and night-time industries have repeatedly called for in the past. To date, the government seems unwilling to put any such policies in place, leading some to believe that nightlife businesses are being intentionally allowed to fail.