The Kazimier to close on New Year’s Day 2016 – Liverpool club organisers release statement

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The Sundowners

The Kazimier in Wolstenholme Square will close on New Year’s Eve 2015

Liverpool’s much-loved venue The Kazimier will close permanently on New Year’s Day 2016 as Wolstenholme Square is redeveloped, Getintothis exclusively reports. 

The Kazimier will close on New Year’s Day 2016.

Organisers behind Liverpool’s much-loved music, arts and performance hub announced the news exclusively via a statement to Getintothis this afternoon.

Plans are to be unveiled to the community this month for an exciting £40m proposal to transform Liverpool’s historic Wolstenholme Square, creating residential and commercial space, a new home for Cream and possible space for a new performance venue run by collaborators from The Kazimier.

Cream, one of the world’s most famous super clubs, is in talks to create a new venue while the Kazimier has also offered their support on the ambitious plans to transform Wolstenholme Square by developer Elliot Group.

These proposals combine a mixture of uses with residential, commercial, leisure and retail spaces all contained within five blocks that wrap around three sides of the square.

The plans would see the creation of more than 370 apartments provided in a number of size formats ranging from studios to two-bed and could create hundreds of jobs in the construction phase and in the shops, restaurants and cafes created in the scheme.

The project, designed by Liverpool architects Falconer Chester Hall, will see the creation of new buildings ranging up to 10 storeys and a new passageway through from Wolstenholme Square to Seel Street.

Artist's impression of plans by Elliot Group for Wolstenholme Square

Artist’s impression of plans by Elliot Group for Wolstenholme Square

The proposals, which include ground floor commercial space for cafes, restaurants and shops, club space and serviced and residential apartments, represent an investment of more than £40m should planning permission be granted.

The public is now being asked to comment on the developer’s proposals before a planning application is submitted. An exhibition at Cream’s home, Nation, is being held on Tuesday April 28, from 2pm to 8pm at which the public can see outline plans and register their views.

Commenting on his plans, developer Elliot Lawless of Elliot Group, said: “We’re not there yet as it’s vital that the square’s stakeholders get a chance to tell us what they think, but what’s currently on the table is exciting and imaginative. We’ll be bringing hundreds of construction jobs, providing new space for budding entrepreneurs and giving a real lift to what is a forgotten quarter of Ropewalks.

“The two clubs are emblematic brands for Liverpool and we’re keen to support them. We’ve had some very positive discussions with both operators and although in its very early stages, the project presents them with a huge opportunity to do something exciting.”

Cream’s Scott Barton added: “We have been working with the developers to ensure that the cultural hub of the square remains and that Cream, one of the city’s leading music venues, continue to thrive. These discussions remain ongoing and we’re excited about the plans.”

Liam Naughton from The Kazimier said: “We support the proposed plans for the project – development of Wolstenholme Square has been expected for some time. The Kazimier will not be moving into a new site offered within the development, however, talks are in progress with Elliot Group about a team of interested parties from the Kazimier staff and collaborators taking on this opportunity.

Chairman of Ropewalks Residents’ Association, Peter Schriewersmann added: “We have been working with Kazimier, Cream, Liverpool City Council and the developers for some time now.

While change to the status-quo was inevitable, and this was bound to be an emotional subject, we were looking for a solution that would a) benefit both clubs with (new) permanent spaces, b) benefit an under-utilised Wolstenholme Square and c) benefit the Ropewalks area as a whole – and we believe that this proposal does exactly that.

Wolstenholme Square was laid out in the mid eighteenth century to provide homes for the city’s burgeoning merchant classes and, as with much of Ropewalks, evolved over time into a mixed commercial and industrial neighbourhood serving the docks. The square suffered during the Blitz, with architectural gems such as the Dutch-style Valspar paint factory lost to German air raids, to be replaced by the low-rise warehousing we see today.

The plans represent the latest investment in the city for Elliot Group after it secured planning permission for the refurbishment of the nearby Heap’s Rice Mill, the last of the great Victorian warehouse complexes in Liverpool’s south docks. The mill forms the centrepiece of a major new housing-led project on Park Lane, behind the John Lewis store. Work is expected to start on the £130m scheme later in the year.

Today’s news comes following discussions with Wolstenholme Square developers who plan to overhaul the area with the Kazimier team being offered ‘a new site’ and the popular Garden space remaining unaffected by the closure of the club.

The news follows on from last year’s battle which saw the club and neighbouring Nation threatened with closure after proposed redevelopments by Hope Street Properties Ltd.

Eleventh-hour crisis talks saw a reprieve for both clubs after multi-million-pound planning proposals for Wolstenholme Square resulted in a deal between residents, councillors and developers meaning they could be saved.

The latest developments, however, do mean the end for The Kazimier as we know it.

The New Year’s Eve party will mark the closure of the club, but as alluded to in their statement, the team have a number of exciting new projects to wrap up in 2015 while their dockland project, The Invisible Wind Factory is also at the ready to stage arts and music events.

The Kazimier’s impending closure follows on from last year’s devastating news of the closure of nearby Mello Mello – landing another significant blow to Liverpool’s inner city music and arts scene.

We’ll will be reflecting more on today’s news but in the meantime, here’s the official statement given exclusively to Getintothis: “After discussions with the developer of Wolstenholme Square, we would like to make it public today that The Kazimier Club will be closing its doors as a venue for the last time on New Years Day 2016.

This gives us nine months of events to celebrate the life of the venue and provide a fitting end. We have been offered a new site within their new development plans – talks are ongoing. The Garden will not be affected, and a new longterm lease is imminent.

The Kazimier club began as an artistic project. From the explosive theatrical parties of its early years to its current standing it has grown to infinitely more than a building – it’s home to a brilliant team of staff, collaborators, promoters and the community in Liverpool and beyond that have contributed to the club in so many ways. We would also like to thank the recent public support that has helped extend its life-span.

We could never have envisioned the warmth of feeling The Kazimier Club has created since opening its doors 7 years ago, nor could we have envisioned it surviving for as long as it has, but true to its original ethos we believe it needs to finish on a high, in the same bricks and mortar as its birth.

As this chapter has drawn to a close, we want to make it clear that this is the end of a building – the original artistic core and the wider Kazimier team are moving forwards with a variety of new projects in various new spaces.

Details of the special programme of events for the following nine months ahead will be released shortly…look out for updates on our website and social media.

Love, The Kazimier x.

Kazimier highlights from 2014 – 2015 as featured on Getintothis

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3 Comments

  1. Gutted. I’ve been to loads of great gigs there, too. First Mello, then the Kaz, and for what? Student flats? There’s a shit ton of student accommodation in the city centre and the surrounding area without bulldozing a successful gig venue, especially in Kenny where houses and flats are begging for redevelopment. Why not bulldoze concert square instead – nothing of value would be lost!

  2. Annie Naughton on

    Anybody else struggling to find anything out about Elliot Group? It would be nice to know a little bit about the developer’s history/ethos before they rip our cultural landmarks off the map.