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Meeting will explore how popular pub and music venue can be saved

PUBLISHED: 16:25 25 September 2018 | UPDATED: 10:41 26 September 2018

The Brickmakers has announced it will not be renewing its lease. Photo: Simon Finlay

The Brickmakers has announced it will not be renewing its lease. Photo: Simon Finlay

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A meeting will be held to discuss options to keep a popular pub and music venue in Norwich open.

It was announced last week that the team at the Brickmakers, on Sprowston Road, would not be renewing their lease with owners Ei Publican Partnerships after talks broke down.

There has been an outpouring of support for the popular venue since, which opened 15 years ago and has built a firm reputation as a respected live music spot in the city.

Mike Stonard, Norwich city councillor, who represents the pub’s ward, said he would be holding a meeting with the pub landlords on Thursday to discuss potential options to keep it open.

MORE: ‘A sad time for musicians in Norwich’ - readers react to Brickmakers announcement

He said: “The Brickmakers and all the other pubs which are in these situations are important in their communities, but the Brickmakers serves a much wider community in Norwich.

“It’s a Norwich institution which is an important part of the local music scene. To see it close would be a very, very sad loss. It is what it is because of the current licensees, and without them it ceases to be the music venue it is.”

He said the pub had launched careers, including that of Ed Sheeran, who played at the pub in 2008 during the semifinals of the Next Big Thing talent competition.

Mr Stonard is also chairman of Future Radio, a community station in Norwich.

He said the station was fully behind the drive to keep it open.

MORE: ‘I’ve had enough’ - pub company under fire after four Norwich landlords stand down over lease talks

“We have always worked very closely with the pub in the past,” he said. “We, and they, are committed to developing and nurturing musical talent. They give them the stage and we’ve given them the airways.”

Since it was launched on Saturday, a petition to save the pub has attracted more than 14,200 signatures.

In comments on the petition, one person said: “Live music is an essential part of the culture of Norwich. The Brickmakers is a big part of that music scene. I’ve spent many an evening there watching loads of bands, they were all brilliant because they were up on stage, doing what they loved doing.”

A spokesperson for Ei Publican Partnerships said: “We are continuing to explore every opportunity in an attempt to find a solution which would allow our publicans to continue trading at the site.”

To sign the petition and show your support, click here.

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