Lancaster Music Co-op saved by council deal for lease on building

‘It feels amazing to finally start work on repairs to the building and getting it back up and running for all the bands and musicians’

Lancaster Music Co-op (LMC) has secured its long-term future thanks to a lease and funding agreement with Lancaster City Council.

The co-op has been campaigning for a long-term lease on its home for more than 20 years, and in 2018 its survival looked in doubt as it fought against an eviction notice.

LMC’s Holly Blackwell said: “This is a totally momentous occasion for Lancaster Music Co-op and for future generations of musicians in the city. 

“We’ve been trying to get a long-term lease on the building for more than 20 years, so we’re all absolutely joyous that finally we’ve secured the future of the music co-op for years to come.”

She added: “We’ve all worked so hard to bring this about and it just feels amazing to be able to finally start work on repairs to the building and getting it back up and running for all the bands and musicians across the Lancaster district and beyond, now and in the future.

“We’ve still got lot of hard work ahead of us. But we’re up for it. Bring it on!”

Located on Lodge Street in the city since 1985, the co-op says it has provided a safe, accessible and affordable space for musicians, from beginners to professionals, to rehearse and record. Over the years the heritage building deteriorated to the point where the cost of major structural repairs rendered the popular facility unusable and it was forced to temporarily close.  

Cllr Nick Wilkinson, cabinet member with responsibility for regeneration, skills and digital innovation, said: “For over 30 years Lancaster Music Co-op has been a vital resource for the city’s musicians. The signing of the lease agreement has been a long time coming and helps to ensure the future of the Co-op, placing the organisation on a secure footing so it can continue to play its important role in our cultural offer.”