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Save Passing Clouds community music and arts centre

Sign the petition to protect Hackney venue Passing Clouds, which is under threat from developers.

On Thursday 16 June 2016, property developers Landhold Developments employed a private security company to evict independent community music and arts centre Passing Clouds from their property in Hackney without warning.

Within two hours of discovering that the property had been occupied, Passing Clouds mobilised 200 musicians and people from the local community to gather outside the building. They scaled the building with ladders and entered by open windows, peacefully evicting the security personnel and reclaiming possession of the property.

Passing Clouds is now seeking a high court injunction against Landhold Developments to prevent them entering the building, and to continue with the venue’s anniversary programme.

Landhold Developments, who purchased the property in a ‘secret private deal’ with the freeholder in November 2015, granted Passing Clouds an initial lease extension until mid-August.  The venue was celebrating its ten year anniversary with a programme featuring top national and international music acts. 

Supporters of the venue and its campaign include the Mayor’s Office, the Music Venue Trust, Nighttime Industries Association, Musicians’ Union, local MP Meg Hillier and a number of Hackney councillors.

On the importance of Passing Clouds to the local community, Benjamin Zephaniah said, “Passing Clouds is not just another club or music venue. Although it is both of those things, it is also a cultural centre that represents the essence of London’s multiculturalism. It has attracted musicians and creative people from all over the world, and so it’s reputation is also international. I believe it is of the utmost importance that this venue is kept open and its future guaranteed. As well as being an integral part of our creative industries, it is simply a unique cultural asset that would be very difficult to replace.”

Meg Hillier MP said: “Live music venues such as Passing Clouds are part of what makes Hackney and Dalston a magnet for creatives and a hotspot in our city’s leisure life. It is vital that developers and planners recognise that it is venues like these that contribute so much to make areas desirable. If these are lost, some of the very reasons why Hackney is such a popular place to live and work are undermined.”

Councillor Emma Plouviez, London Fields Ward, Chair, Licensing Committee Hackney Council said: “As a live music venue it is unique and, at a time when barely a month seems to pass without news that yet another London venue has been lost to developers, I am throwing my support behind Eleanor and the team and their campaign to save Passing Clouds.”

For updates on the campaign, and more about Passing Clouds, find them on Facebook and on Twitter.

Sign the petition to protect Passing Clouds.

Published: 28/06/2016

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