Saturday, September 22, 2012

Venuewatch: MelloMello

MelloMello is something of a beacon in Liverpool's nightlife: a community venture which is run as a non-profit; a genuinely creative hub employing around two dozen people; a well-run, popular and safe nightspot in a city where some bars are run by people whom you might not feel comfortable around.

So, something for the city to celebrate, right?

Not quite, it turns out: as the Tories and Lib Dems squeeze local finances, the council is squeezing MelloMello.

Up until now, the place has enjoyed an 80% discretionary waiver on council tax, an act of enabling generosity that the council is now going to pull.

Talking to SevenStreets, MelloMello's Rob Longson explains that the company couldn't afford that hike without jacking up the prices it charges to the bands and artists who use its spaces, and that it wouldn't do that:

What might happen is that MelloMello’s building will have the lease taken on by a company that can afford it. What kind of company do you think that will be? A small, independent CIC which has built a business out of nothing? No. Probably the opposite.
It wouldn't be the first time that one of the very venues which sits are the heart of the tales Liverpool City Council likes to tell about the place gets driven away. Let's not forget how much better, say, having an Australian-themed chain pub where Trading Places used to serve tea and give bands rehearsal space worked towards generating that vibrant culture LCC tries to sell on, or the dozens of other examples of similar happening in the last twenty years.

There's a petition. Let's try to get the City to change its mind.