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The Ferret hoping to see ‘For Sale’ sign brought down soon

Posted on - 3rd January, 2024 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Business, Charities, Food & Drink, Music, Preston City Centre, Pubs, University campus
The Ferret Pic: Cutting Edge
The Ferret Pic: Cutting Edge

The future of one of Preston’s most iconic, influential and important nightspots could be secured soon, it is hoped.

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The Ferret, on Fylde Road, is Preston’s most prominent provider of live music and has provided a stage for artists such as Ed Sheeran, Royal Blood, Alt J, Rae Morris and more.

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But the future of the grassroots music venue has been up in the air since 2022 when the landlord put the building up for sale.

Read more: Tributes to popular Preston man who made ‘massive contribution’ to Sunday league football

Now, it is hoped there is light at the end of the tunnel and the venue will be able to ‘get rid of the For Sale sign outside’.

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On Facebook, The Ferret posted: “The situation is dire for music venues across the country, with sad news of closures coming thick and fast. Let’s see 2024 bring more positive stories like saving The Snug please? (Hopefully we’ll be able to get rid of the For Sale sign outside our place pretty soon as well!)”

Since The Ferret was put up for sale, the Music Venue Trust has been working to take the spot, and several others in the UK, out of the hands of private landlords. This has been coupled with support from Preston City Council – who delayed any sale of the building by dubbing it a ‘asset of community value’ – and the Preston community, who have helped raise funds for the Music Venue Trust too.

Music Venue Trust is a UK Registered Charity which aims to protect, secure and improve UK Grassroots Music Venues for the benefit of venues, communities and upcoming artists.

If The Ferret is saved as is hoped, there will still be challenges for the venue to meet. It is estimated that one music venue per week is closing in the UK and this is for reasons that include inflation and the cost of living crisis.

“It’s tough for venues of this size,” Matt Fawbert, the venue’s general manager, told Sky News. “It’s been a lot tougher this year, I think, each week we’re battling with bills and it’s very up and down.

“And obviously the price of everything is going up, and all of that adds up.”

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