Preston live music venue 53 Degrees is to close its doors to the public from 2015.Advertisement
The University of Central Lancashire Students’ Union run venue said changes in student lifestyle meant the venue was no longer sustainable.
It says they are now in discussions with the University of Central Lancashire over what to do with the venue.
A statement released says they will not be pursuing booking any live shows in 2015.
The venue has seen the likes of Kasabian, Dizzee Rascal, Miles Kane and The Courtneers gracing its stage over the years.
Situated in the heart of the Preston campus of UCLan on Fylde Road the building cost £6.5 million to build and opened in 2005.
Ben Latham, president of UCLan Students’ Union, said: “53 degrees has been a great asset to UCLan Students’ Union and many students, including myself, will have great memories of the events at the venue. However, times are changing and students’ unions across the country are being faced with the reality that the costs of both running and supporting the investment needed in a venue such as 53 are unsustainable.
“Like many students’ unions, civic and high street venues; 53 degrees faces the challenge of changing leisure habits and student demographics, developments in the music industry and the recent recession.”
The venue confirmed all events up to 31 December this year are to go ahead and tickets are still valid for the 30 or more events and concerts booked in.
Latham said the venue would still hold events during key student times such as Freshers Week.
He said: “I am confident however that the changes to the way 53 degrees operates and the priority we need to give to student education, welfare and development will be understood by all who use the venue.
“We will continue to deliver great events for students and of course our popular Source Bar will remain at the heart of our entertainment activities.”
The University did not give a comment on the news, but did confirm in a statement it was discussing using the venue as a “setting for events and academic programmes that support students’ learning and leisure time.”
Staff at the venue are currently being consulted on restructuring proposals, it is not known whether any redundancies will take place – but the reduction in events makes it likely some jobs are to be lost.
Union bosses said the decision to stop booking public shows was unconnected to a licensing review trigged by Lancashire Police in late 2012.
The venue was challenged after a number of incidents of disorder during events at the venue, but a city council licensing sub-committee made no change to its licence.
Prestonians, UCLan students and former students have been expressing their shock at the news.
The news leaves Preston’s Guild Hall as the only large capacity venue in Preston, but the Guild Hall is facing an uncertain future.
Preston City Council has made it clear they are seeking proposals for external operators to run the venue.
Take a trip down memory lane with our classic gig pictures from 53 Degrees.
What do you make of the news? Did you go to gigs at 53 Degrees? Let us know in the comments below