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It’s all rate now for 100 club’s gigs

Famous music venue is first in country to be exempt from business charge

04 February, 2020 — By Dan Carrier

100 Club boss Jeff Horton with Greater London Authority night czar Amy Lamé

THE world-famous 100 Club has become the first music venue in the country to be made exempt from business rates.

The Oxford Street club, which has hosted stars including ex-Beatle Paul McCartney and The Rolling Stones, has been given special status by Westminster Council in a bid to secure its future.

The savings are estimated to be around £76,000 a year, according to owner Jeff Horton, whose father first took the venue on in the 1950s.

He told the Extra: “I never thought this day would come. It has been a long journey to get to this point.

“It is a heritage venue holding on to its home in a city that has changed beyond recognition.

“For me this is lovely because it is a recognition and acknowledgement as to what has gone on in here in the past – and it means it will continue for future generations.”

Mr Horton said the deal would mean they could continue to offer a stage to up-and-coming bands.

He added: “This is a game-changing approach from a local authority in supporting grassroots music venues. I hope other authorities will adopt a similar forward-thinking approach to support the music industry.”

Under the plans, the council say if a business is a recognised “grassroots music” venue, and is run on a not-for-profit basis, they will consider waiving all rates.

The 100 Club, established in 1942, became a “Community Interest Company” in September, in recognition of it being a social enterprise.

Amy Lamé, the Greater London Authority’s night czar, said: “The 100 Club is an important part of London’s music history, providing a stage for up-and-coming acts for more than 75 years.

“Grassroots music venues play a key role on London’s thriving nightlife and that is why we’ve worked closely with the 100 Club and Westminster 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 it to support venues in their boroughs and help boost London’s vibrant nightlife.”

Conservative councillor Timothy Barnes, who has a role overseeing issues in Soho, added: “The names of the bands who have graced the stage of the 100 Club read like a Who’s Who of showbiz – from Paul McCartney and Paul Weller to the latest acts like ASAP Ferg. Even the Gallagher brothers agreed to get on for the night when they played there. This latest action from Westminster Council means the show will go on at this iconic venue.

“Business rates relief may not seem very rock and roll but – as the Rolling Stones might have said when they played at the club – it will mean satisfaction to a generation of music fans.”

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