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London venue the Borderline to close due to 'ever increasing rents'

Black Stone Cherry perform at The Borderline © Darren Griffiths

London live music venue the Borderline has announced it will close its doors by 31st August 2019.

The 300-capacity venue’s operators DHP confirmed its closure this lunchtime citing ‘ever increasing rents, rising business rates and ongoing redevelopment plans for Soho.’

Breaking the news, the Borderline wrote on Twitter: “It is with a heavy heart that we announce @theborderline will close its doors for the last time this summer. This has been an extremely difficult decision & one we are very sad to make.”

DHP Managing director George Atkins explained further a statement: “This has been a difficult decision, but given intentions by the landlord to increase the rent significantly for a second time since we took it over in 2016 as well as plans to redevelop the building housing the Borderline, we now know the venue doesn’t have a long term future so it makes no sense for us to continue to invest.

“We’ve had an amazing two years at Borderline with some fantastic shows and want to thank everyone for their support from agents, promoters and artists to all the thousands who have come to the gigs and club nights. We’ve put our all into trying to revive this iconic venue but unfortunately, it has been impossible to turn into a sustainable operation due to so many external factors. This is a sad day for all of us who love live music and believe in grassroots venues.”

DHP have retained the Borderline name are looking at potential opportunities to relocate outside of the West End, and they have also confirmed plans to invest in other venues in their portfolio.

They wrote: ‘We will reinvest into the other areas of its venue portfolio with £1 million earmarked for work on the Thekla in Bristol; the upcoming 40th anniversary for the iconic Rock City in Nottingham and work underway to open its first Birmingham venue while The Garage in Islington has just won protection from the council’s local plan following a campaign to safeguard its future.’

Since its inception in the mid-1980s, the Borderline has played host to a smorgasbord of acts including ZZ Top, Counting Crows, Muse and Amy Winehouse.

In January 2016 Black Stone Cherry played a special Planet Rock Live gig at the Borderline with all proceeds going to the Teenage Cancer Trust.

The closure comes just two years after significant investment was made to revamp the venue.

George Atkins added: “DHP is still committed to creating and running the best grassroots music venues in the country. However, I don’t see how it is possible in the West End when faced with all the difficulties from business rates, increasing rents and licensing pressure.”

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