Empty venues used for live music

Following an Freedom of Information Request by a Welsh Conservative spokesperson, it has emerged that more than £11million has been spent by Welsh councils on maintaining abandoned buildings. However buildings such as Tramshed, an abandoned building which was transformed into a live music venue is still “thriving” a year since its grand opening. So why are there still so many empty buildings?

Janet Finch Saunders, assembly member for Aberconway, says “Welsh councils are spending more and more each year maintaining empty buildings.” She said that empty buildings should be developed in order to benefit the wider community, and that is exactly what Barbara Harrison, assistant general manager of Tramshed, says that Tramshed has done. “It’s a real community vibe,” she said, “we’re really keen to work with the community.” Grade II listed building, Tramshed was transformed from an old tram depot into a live music venue, hosting up to 1,000 music fans.

Empty buildings are being transformed

Empty buildings are being transformed into music venues

However when renovating these old buildings into music venues, problems occasionally occur. The Point was originally a church that was constructed between 1900-1902 and became a Grade II listed building in 1975. In 2003 the church was renovated into a a live music venue which included regular club nights. Unfortunately in 2009 it announced its closure stating that it was unable to afford refurbishments in order to make the building sound proof following noise complaints from nearby residents.

Nevertheless another Grade II listed building, The Philharmonic, is due to undergo a £750,000  refurbishment after months of being empty. New owners Craig David and Simon Little, who are already proud owners of live music venue Brewhouse, say they can’t wait to bring a building back to life that has been loved by generations of music lovers.

The Philharmonic in 1994 - Image courtesy of Wales Online

The Philharmonic in 1994 – Image courtesy of Wales Online