The Manchester institution's home at Beehive Mill has been sold to a residential developer
AS THE pace of Manchester’s property development quickens, it was perhaps inevitable that some of the city’s older plots would stand to suffer. From the demolition of the Abercromby and the Smith's Arms pubs to the ‘cultural vandalism of Castlefield' and now the closure of clubbing institution Sankeys, few things have raised the city’s blood pressure quite so much as new property schemes (ok maybe the traffic).
Latest victim Sankeys - first opened as Sankeys Soap in 1994 - located in Ancoats’ Beehive Mill, has seen its home at the Grade II listed former cotton mill put on the market with Savills estate agents.
Employees, along with promoters and artists due to be hosting events at Sankeys this weekend, were told yesterday that the whole 0.42 acre site has now been sold to a property developer.
Brutally, the club was closed with immediate effect: following suggestions that the landlord, reluctant to invest in any long term commitments, declined to extend the lease after it expired last summer.
A Facebook update from club bosses said: “It is with great regret and with a very heavy heart, we must close Sankeys Manchester with immediate effect.
"When you look around Ancoats you'll see new apartment blocks and new developments throughout the area. We have done well to fend off the developers for so long.”
According to staff, however, the ‘legendary’ Sankeys brand will live on as they still have a license to host events and are looking into alternative venues. The business has since registered a change of address to Burton Varley LLP, based at Towers Business Park in Didsbury.
A statement released by the club said: "Regards to Sankeys Manchester, we are looking at a few options in terms of a new venue to replicate the legendary Basement and Spektrum.
"We will also be running a series of pop-up events inclusive of existing bookings and shows yet to be released. Over the coming days we will release the details of all shows currently in the diary, whether they have been moved venue, date or completely cancelled, we endeavour to provide these shows.
"We must point out that as a whole the Sankeys brand is on the up and about to enter some very exciting times. We have the amazing Sankeys Ibiza, the brand new venue that is Sankeys East, which has sold out each show since opening, and there will be Sankeys Birmingham opening in March too. Sankeys London will continue to throw huge events and we have Sankeys TYO flying the flag for the brand in the Far East."
With its future in Manchester now looking a little more shaky, everyone from former DJs to decades of clubbers have expressed their dismay using the hashtag #ripsankeys.
The news is somewhat ironic, as planning permission was granted this week for the £110m arts venue Factory; named after the infamous record label managed by the owners of the Hacienda, another iconic nightclub turned into am apartment complex back in the late nineties.
Whether Sankeys Manchester will live on is debatable but - amidst the city’s continued regeneration - the memories at least will endure.