The operator of Manchester venues The Deaf Institute and Gorilla in Manchester has announced they will not be reopening due to the coronavirus crisis.
In a statement confirming the closures, Roy Ellis, CEO and founder of Mission Mars, noted the venues had been at the "forefront" of Manchester's music scene for a number of years.
"It is with great sadness that we announce that we will not be reopening," said Ellis. “This difficult decision has been made against the backdrop of Covid-19 and the enforced closure of all of our sites and with continued restrictions upon opening of live music venues.
"We appreciate that these music destinations are well loved and have provided an early stage for many acts in the North West and are therefore well known in the world of music.
"We would encourage any industry and music entrepreneurs who might be interested in this as an opportunity to please get in touch. We are extremely grateful to our hardworking teams and guests and followers for their loyal support over years.”
Greater Manchester night-time economy adviser Sacha Lord, co-founder of Parklife Festival and The Warehouse Project, has offered hope the venues could yet be saved, saying he would work with Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham to find a new operator. "I fully expect in time to see both Gorilla and Deaf Institute to reopen," he tweeted.
I fully expect in time to see both Gorilla and Deaf Institute to reopen. Myself and @AndyBurnhamGM will do everything we can to find new operators. We need grass roots venues across the whole of our City Region #GreaterManchester #BuildBackBetter pic.twitter.com/AL2oDmuevm— Sacha Lord (@Sacha_Lord) July 16, 2020
Meanwhile, the Music Venue Trust posted on Facebook: "We understand from the current operators that they are seeking to sell these venues on as ongoing concerns. We are monitoring the situation for both."
The development comes on the same day as Hull's The Welly and The Polar Bear closed after two companies run by operator VMS Live went into administration.