200-capacity London nightclub Space 289 is set to close later this month due to rising rent costs.
The intimate venue first opened in October 2019 and shortly after, along with thousands of other clubs in the UK, was made to close during the pandemic for close to two years. The club reopened in July 2021 and has since hosted weekly events.
“We're gutted to announce that Space 289 will be closing this month,” the team behind the Bethnal Green club announced on Instagram on Thursday, July 14.
Space 289 explained that the Victorian arch under which the venue sits was sold by Network Rail in 2019 to the American Investment Bank Blackstone/Arch Co, who are now looking to more than double the cost of rent.
“We have tried to fight them in court, but with mounting legal costs and no positive outcome in sight, we have no choice but to walk,” they added.
Speaking on the venue's closure, a spokesperson from The Arch Company said: “We have been trying to work with Space 289 to regularise the use of their premises and have offered support to enable them to stay.
"This includes offering a payment plan to help address their rental arrears, support through our Tenants’ Charter and granting three months’ rent free during the pandemic.”
Running for just some three years, Space 289 has hosted a slew of great artists including Shygirl, Tim Reaper, Loraine James, aya, 1-800 GIRLS, Breaka, Danny L Harle, and Scratcha DVA, as well as a recent Ukraine fundraiser event seeing in Giant Swan, DJ Bus Replacement Service, and more.
“As a small 200 cap venue trying to push good music, it's not possible for us to generate enough income to survive such high rents,” the team said. “Nor do we want to begin the race to the cultural wastelands by putting on nights purely to make enough money to cover these excessive rents.
"We hope to return in some form, but for now we need to take a breath and think about how we can come back stronger."
Catch Space 289's final events before it closes later this month.
Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter