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Night Czar says decent sized club venue could remain on Printworks site

By | Published on Wednesday 17 August 2022


Amy Lamé, London’s Night Czar – which is still the job title they’re insisting on using, apparently – has said that a significant clubbing venue could remain on the site of Printworks in South London.

The Printworks venue opened in 2017 using the buildings of a former, well, printworks. However, the use of that site as a clubbing venue was always intended to be temporary. And last month the local council granted approval for a redevelopment of the site, with owner British Land planning to build a load of offices and shops there.

News of those redevelopment plans prompted a petition from clubbers who had become fans of the Printworks venue and Southwark Council officials acknowledged that opposition in a report they produced for the borough’s planning committee. But that opposition didn’t change their position regarding granting approval for the redevelopment.

They wrote: “It is noted that a significant number of objections have been received in respect of the loss of the club/music venue currently operating on the site. It is acknowledged that this use has been very successful. However, the events use was initiated as a short-term interim (meanwhile) use in 2016 pending development of the building … it was never intended to be a permanent use of the site”.

Nevertheless, when the planning permission was granted last month, both the Council and British Land said that they still intended to have some sort of cultural space on the site alongside the offices and shops, and that they would be working with the operators of Printworks – Broadwick Live – on making that happen.

Now, that commitment sounded like this new cultural space would be a lot smaller than the current 6000 capacity club that Broadwick Live have been running for the last few years. But Lamé reckons that a decent sized venue could as yet remain on the site.

Speaking to Mixmag, she says: “The teams at Broadwick Live and British Land have done an incredible job turning the space into a major destination that attracts some of the biggest names in electronic music and visitors from all over the world. Despite it always being clear that it was a temporary space, the threat of its potential loss is no less raw to the tens of thousands who regularly enjoy a night out at Printworks”.

With that in mind, she added, there are currently “active discussions about the possibility of keeping a significant venue in part of Printworks”, with all parties agreeing “that retaining the scale and industrial grandeur of the press halls will be an important part of the venue’s future”.

Noting that Printworks has not yet formally announced its closure, she went on: “There is hope that it still has a future”.

We shall see. Though, in the meantime, Broadwick Live is involved in some new venue spaces at the Royal Docks in East London, so – either way – fans of clubbing in defunct industrial settings will still be catered for.