Paul Deats and Rachel Foster of Peggy’s Skylight have dis covered that Nottingham City Council is planning to sell the Peggy’s Skylight building at auction on 23 February 2023, despite the fact that they have a ten year lease, according to a statement released today. “We want the Council to offer business owners a fair chance to raise funds to purchase the property themselves, in order to ensure that we can keep enjoying world class live music in the heart of Nottingham,” says their statement, which also has a petition to be signed.
(LONG STATEMENT BEGINS) Peggy’s Skylight is unique in the UK, and well-loved by many. It is award winning (2021 ‘All-Party Parliamentary Award’ for Best Jazz Venue – UK); widely cited by many world-renowned musicians as one of their favourite UK venues, and quickly growing a reputation as a key destination venue in the Midlands.
Nottingham City Council are planning to sell Peggy’s Skylight’s premises at auction on the 23rd February 2023. The owners were only notified of this action on 17th Nov ‘22. The document on public record shows that the decision was consulted on with Ward Councillors back in April ‘22.
There is a lease for 10 years. Will a new landlord be good or bad for Peggy’s?
The club owners, Rachel & Paul would like to purchase the property, but realistically need more time to secure funding. They have asked the Council to change their plans and have approached them both directly and via Lilian Greenwood MP, but to date they are unwilling to change their plans.
The team at Peggy’s have started a campaign on Change.org, asking that Nottingham City Council agree to delay, by 6 months, the proposed sale of the property at 3 George St, Nottingham. Give the business owners a fair chance to raise funds to purchase the property themselves, in order to ensure that we can all keep enjoying world class live music in the heart of Nottingham.
Peggy’s is an important cultural and community asset to the city. The owners are currently pursuing ‘Asset of Community Value’ status. This can be granted by Nottingham City Council itself, and importantly means that the community can then enact the Community Right to Bid, which gives them a moratorium period of six months to determine if they can raise the finance to purchase the asset.
An Asset of Community Value is defined as: A building or other land is an asset of community value if its main use has recently been or is presently used to further the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community and could do so in the future. The Localism Act states that ‘social interests’ include cultural, recreational and sporting interests.
It is understood that the council faces a significant financial challenge at present, and cannot set a precedent by cancelling one sale, yet letting others go ahead. However, Peggy’s is not a shop, office or bar that can be relatively easily relocated. Rather, it has been designed to serve the purpose of presenting live music to a dining audience, with state of the art sound system, vintage cinema seating, which has all been tailored to this unique space. ‘Asset of Community Value’ status is a way that the council could officially recognise Peggy’s Skylight for what it provides for the community, without prejudice to any of the council’s other proposed property sales.” (LONG STATEMENT ENDS.)