Manchester’s Deaf Institute and Gorilla venues have been saved from closure

The city’s beloved music venues have found a buyer and will no longer be permanently closed

Manchester’s the Deaf Institute and Gorilla venues have been saved from permanent closure, Manchester Evening News reports.

The venues have been bought by Tokyo Industries, a company which owns other bars and clubs in the city, such as Impossible, the Factory, and South.

“These are extremely difficult times for all grassroots music venues around the UK,” said Aaron Mellor, founder of Tokyo Industries, in a statement. “It’s vital venues like Gorilla and the Deaf Institute are kept alive, the cultural fabric of our city centres depends on venues like these.”

Staff at both the Deaf Institute and Gorilla will keep their jobs as part of the terms agreed between the company and the current owner of the venues, Mission Mars. Mission Mars announced last week that they would be closing the two venues due to the financial impact of COVID-19.

Aaron Mellor said that event promoter SSD Concerts and Tim Burgess, frontman of the Charlatans, had both been involved in plans to save the venues and ensure that they can return to their previous operations. In a joint statement, Mission Mars and Tokyo Industries said the venues will operate “in much the same way as they have done in the past”.

“We’re not so keen on this ‘new’ normal and want to keep the ‘old’ normal alive for when we all get through this,” said Mellor.

“It's really great news for our teams and the music loving people of Manchester that both venues have found such a perfect new home,” said Roy Ellis, CEO of Mission Mars. “The bad news announcement last week regarding the closure plans galvanised an unprecedented level of interest from passionate operators from across the region and even beyond. I’m extremely grateful that we've been able to find a new and appropriate new home for these amazing venues and people.”

In May, we spoke to six independent venues affected by the lockdown – read it here.