Jeff Smith, Labour’s Shadow Music Minister, MP for Manchester Withington and former DJ, visited The Leadmill in Sheffield this week to show support for the #WeCantLoseLeadmill campaign.
Following the landlord’s announcement of plans to evict the current venue managers next year, the iconic Sheffield venue has received a massive public outpouring of support, including from high profile figures in music and comedy, and local MPs Paul Blomfield and Louise Haigh.
Jeff Smith travelled to Sheffield to meet with the Leadmill management and staff, as well as local customers, musicians and campaigners. The group discussed the importance of Leadmill to up-and-coming musicians, music lovers and the local community, and plans to try and save the venue in its current form.
Leadmill landlords Electric Group have confirmed their intentions to keep the building running as a music venue following the current team’s eviction. This has sparked fears that Electric Group are cynically trying to cash in on the existing management’s success, investment and reputation built up over 40 years.
Labour’s Shadow Music Minister Jeff Smith said:
“Community music venues are hugely important – fostering homegrown talent, providing a source of joy and connection for people from all walks of life, and boosting the local economy. The Leadmill holds a special place in my heart as somewhere I used to DJ and have spent many memorable nights at gigs and events. It’s an integral part of Sheffield’s vibrant music scene.
“We’ve already lost too many music venues because of inadequate government support throughout the pandemic, with others barely surviving until now. It’s a huge blow to see another beloved venue put at risk.
“If this can happen to The Leadmill, it can happen to any grassroots venue. The Government should meet with local representatives to work out how to find a solution that maintains the Leadmill as a cultural asset, as well as looking into wider reforms than can prevent similar situations from arising in future. Along with Labour colleagues, I will gladly work with them to find a solution.
“It was an honour to meet with the passionate team and supporters at The Leadmill. It’s clear that Sheffield and the wider public are behind the campaign to save The Leadmill as we know it.”