London’s Iconic 100 Club Saved
Westminster Council announce 100% Business Rates Relief securing the future of the legendary Grassroots Music Venue
Westminster Council has today acted to secure the long-term future of London’s legendary 100 Club with an announcement that the venue will be offered 100% Business Rate Relief from 1 April 2020. The decision reduces the overhead costs at one of the world’s oldest and most famous venues by over £70,000 per year. It follows a long-term campaign to attempt to keep the venue at the heart of London’s nightlife on Oxford Street stretching back over a decade and which included the support of Sir Paul McCartney and his now-legendary awareness-raising concert.
17 December 2010 – “So, who wants to save the 100 Club?” – Music Venue Trust patron Sir Paul McCartney kicks off the ball by generously playing an essential awareness raising concert at The 100 Club – a two hour set for three hundred delighted fans and the world’s press. | Photo by MJ KIM © Copyright MPL Communications Ltd.
Jeff Horton, Owner of 100 Club
“Westminster Council has made the 100 Club the first ever Grassroots Music Venue to be awarded Localism Relief. This award means that the venue will now be given 100% Business Rates relief for the entire time it remains at its current location at 100 Oxford Street, its home since 1942. This forward thinking move by the local authority means that after a decade of financial turmoil and struggle the venue can, at last, move forward and continue its work, secure in the knowledge that there is now a much greater chance of sustainability.”
The move comes following discussions between Westminster Council, London’s Night Czar Amy Lamé and Music Venue Trust about supporting Grassroots Music Venues in the city.
Amy Lamé, London Night Czar
“The 100 Club is an important part of London’s music history, providing a stage for up and coming and world renowned acts for more than 75 years. Grassroots Music Venues play a key role in London’s thriving nightlife and that is why we’ve worked closely with The 100 Club and Westminster City Council to secure its future. This is the first time that special status has been awarded to a Grassroots Music Venue and it is a great example of what can be done to support venues in our city. I urge other local authorities to work with us to support venues in their boroughs and help boost London’s vibrant nightlife.”
The 100 Club has played host to an incredible line-up of artists across over 7 decades of music, and was the birthplace of both British Jazz and Punk. Legendary performers from the history of the venue include Glen Miller, Siouxie & The Banshees, Sex Pistols, Clash, Louis Armstrong, Marion Makeba and Hugh Masekela, and The Rolling Stones. Artists from across today’s music scene have been welcoming the news that the club has been saved:
Frank Turner, MVT Patron
Photo by fuckinclairphotos “I’m ecstatic to hear about this breakthrough for the long-term future of the 100 Club. The venue is an historic landmark, across the history of popular music, from jazz to punk and beyond (and indeed it was the site of a pivotal gig in my career, with Million Dead in 2002, and I’ve been back to headline since). The prospect of losing the 100 Club was too much to bear, and it’s wonderful news that its future is now secure. I am proud to be a patron of Music Venue Trust, who do incredible work in helping maintain and celebrate our stock of underground venues, without which our culture will have no place to evolve and thrive.”
KT Tunstall, MVT Patron
“I am absolutely thrilled to hear the news about the 100% rates relief for the 100 Club on Oxford Street. Westminster Council GET IT!! These iconic small venues all over the country are the lifeblood of the UK music scene, and rates can and do force them out of business. I met the Music Venue Trust for the first time inside the 100 Club at an event to celebrate busking, along with its brilliant owner Jeff Horton, and couldn’t be happier to know it will be a space for music for years to come.”
Rou Reynolds, Enter Shikari – MVT Patron
Photo by Alena Andryushchenko “The 100 Club is an incredible venue. When you walk into the place you are confronted by a rich history. For decades, seminal music has been presented here. From its beginnings as a swing club, with one of my early heroes Glenn Miller as its patron, to being an important hub for rock, punk and hardcore. There’s too many legends to list that have performed on its stage. Being in central London gives it an extra magic too. It’s now really the only remaining popular music venue in West End, so we’re overjoyed at the news that this side of London’s history is being protected. Big up the Music Venue Trust and everyone involved in the campaigning and decision.”
Billy Bragg, MVT Patron
Photo by Murdo Macleod “The 100 Club has played host to some of the most dynamic pop music that the UK has produced during its eight decades of existence. It was the crucible of trad jazz, played host to the skiffle boom and made room for 60s beat groups. In 1976, its storied stage saw British punk rock take its first baby steps. So news that Westminster Council has decided to support the continued existence of the 100 Club is most welcome. Very few venues have survived from the dawn of British pop and it is fitting that the tenacity of those who run the 100 Club has been rewarded in this way.
Congratulations to them and to the Music Venue Trust, who played an important role in securing the long term future of this historic venue.”
“My first recollection of the 100 Club was being pulled in as a young kid looking at black and white photos of Steve Jones doing this kind of piss take Jimmy Page guitar pose and next to him this bizarre looking singer, John Rotten. The 100 Club sign that was behind them hasn’t changed. I always touch that sign when we play and imagine those old days when the stage partly gave birth to Punk Rock. It’s not changed at all. I can’t tell you how pleased we were to hear that the threat of closure had abated due to the award from Westminster Council. Long live the 100 Club!”
The news follows swiftly on the heels of a UK Government commitment to tackle the crisis in Grassroots Music Venues with a 50% Business Rate Relief from 1 April 2020, an issue Music Venue Trust has been campaigning on for five years.
Mark Davyd, CEO and Founder, Music Venue Trust
“Following on from the announcement earlier this week of the Rate Relief being offered by Central Government for Grassroots Music Venues, this move by Westminster is simply fantastic for 100 Club, for London and for artists and audiences. Across our major cities, we have key, iconic Grassroots Music Venues that we desperately need to find a way to keep. We congratulate Westminster Council on having found a path to do exactly that using Localism Relief. Other Boroughs in London, in Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol, Brighton, Glasgow, Cardiff, now need to follow suit. Our City Centres need to keep cultural destinations that drive activity and support the whole night-time economy, and we strongly urge local authorities across the country to look at the example here and consider how they can act.”
Running a Grassroots Music Venue is challenging, a vocation rather than a job, as illustrated by Jeff Horton of the 100 Club:
Jeff Horton, Owner of 100 Club
“As the owner, I have very many people to thank for getting to this place on this particular road, something I never thought possible a decade ago. I cannot do those people justice in this short statement but without the fantastic people at Fred Perry, the team at the GLA, including the Night Czar Amy Lamé and Paul Broadhurst, Music Venue Trust, IVW, musicians and friends of the 100 Club (you know who you are), the people that took the time out to write to me 10 years ago when we were heading into the abyss and gave me the strength to carry on, Stoyan Lukov and Jenny Pierce that have stuck with me for years when there’s been more thin than thick and the bar staff, sound engineers, security, reps and promoters from all over the UK, thank you all for your contribution that’s got us to this point.”
29 January 2020 – Councillor Timothy Barnes (standing) from Westminster Council announces plans to help ensure the long-term survival of the iconic 100 Club with Jeff Horton (100 Club owner, left), Amy Lamé (London Night Czar, centre) and Mark Davyd (CEO Music Venue Trust, right).
NNDR Localism Relief
Westminster Council’s decision will allow The 100 Club to benefit from ‘NNDR Localism Relief’. It is the first-ever live music venue to benefit from this measure. In their announcement, Westminster Council assure Westminster Music Venues that they can benefit from up to 100% business rates relief if they meet the following criteria:
• Their prime purpose is as a Grassroots Music Venue.
• The property is on the Greater London Authority’s (GLA) register of Grassroots Music Venues.
• The organisation occupying the property and liable for business rates must be not for profit.
• The scheme primarily aims to support Grassroots Music Venues in the Soho area, although any Grassroots Music Venue in the borough could be assisted if they meet the relevant criteria.
Detail on the Government’s Business Rate Relief for Grassroots Music Venues can be found at https://www.gov.uk
Music Venue Trust can supply a detailed breakdown on individual or collective impact, please contact [email protected] with your query
More information about the Grassroots Live Music Fund here: https://musicvenuetrust.com/2019/05/funding-breakthrough-for-grassroots-music-venues