As reported in the Liverpool Echo today, the site of the world’s first superclub Cream is set to be bulldozed to make way for more city centre flats.
The proposals for Wolstenholme Square will also mean that end could be nigh for two of Liverpool’s leading independent nightclubs – The Kazimier and Nation. Multi-million pound plans to rip up the square to create new apartments, shops and leisure facilities will be presented before councillors next week, in a move that objectors say will “take the spirit out of the city”.
The scheme means The Kazimier and Nation nightclubs would be removed, signalling the end of Cream and Medication clubs nights just a month after arts hub Mello Mello was forced to close. It is understood the developers potentially intend to start work in around two years time. Marc Jones, promoter of the popular Medication club night which hosts events at Nation – home of superclub Cream – told the ECHO
“creativity is being squeezed out of Liverpool”. He said: “We are returning to the dark days before the Capital of Culture. The live music scene in Liverpool is dying on its feet. Every city has the same city centre now which has the same shops where no-one can find anything independent, but we want bands to be playing here, in smaller, grottier venues. We want to create a hub of independence. That is what made Liverpool famous.Plans like this take the soul out of the city”.
Marc, who has promoted events frequented by millions of students in Liverpool over the years, said the “spirit of independence is constantly under threat” and Medication will no longer be “a rite of passage” for Liverpool students if the planning application gets the green light. “It’s very sad news for us,” he said. Hope Street Properties Ltd, who have proposed the new development, also plan to fill the graffiti-strewn Tonnage Square underpass between Duke Street and Wolstenholme Square, which they describe as under-used, poorly surveyed and a hotbed of crime.
In a report to the council, the developers said: “The proposal offers economic benefits and employment opportunities and presents an efficient re-use for long-term vacant premises and under-used land.” But people wouldn’t be able to move into the new flats until the square’s night venues, including Kazimier and Nation, have closed down.
The report said: “Delivering residential development in this locality does not come without its challenges given the presence of Pleasure Rooms, Nation and Kazimier nightclubs on Wolstenholme Square and La Bateau and Privilege nightclubs on Duke Street.” The plans have been met with outrage by loyal club-goers, who say the threat of closure is an “absolute joke”. Twitter user David Lynch said: “The city is in desperate need of more soulless flats. All the better it comes at the expense of creative spaces.” Another user, Ryan O’Hanlon, said: “It will be a huge shame. The Kazimier is one of the best venues for creativity and atmosphere this city has seen.”
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Watch Cream live in 2000 with Pete Tong