Musicians’ Co-op - Latest Statement

Lancaster has a vibrant, buzzing music and arts scene and one which Lancaster City Council is proud to support and promote.

A key part of that scene is the Musicians’ Co-op, which has helped give rise to some of the 21st century's best-known artists.

A recent condition survey of 1 Lodge Street, Lancaster, home to the Musicians’ Co-op, has however raised a number of significant safety issues, prompting us to take action for the welfare of the Co-op and all its users.

Issues particularly relating to the roof and electrics need to be urgently addressed if the Co-op is to safely continue their occupation and public access to the building.

The council recognises the vital role the Co-op plays in Lancaster’s cultural scene. In light of this, the council was obliged to issue a six-month notice, hopefully providing enough time to allow it to work with the Co-op to resolve issues and ensure the safety of the building. This notice is intended as a precautionary measure, and one we hope will never be enacted.

The council understands the public’s concern over the uncertainty this has created.  We have approached the Musicians’ Co-op directly to arrange a further meeting, and await their availability.  We hope this meeting will offer reassurance to the Musicians’ Co-op and supporters of its intention to work with the group to find a solution.

For 33 years the council has supported the Musicians’ Co-op, to help ensure they have a stable and secure future in Lancaster. This has included an agreement allowing them use of 1 Lodge Street for a nominal rent of less than £4 per week, in return for the Co-op ensuring the maintenance of the building. 

The council is keen that this musical institution remains a vital part of the city’s cultural offering, and is looking forward to working with the Co-op to find a way to ensure it has a place in Lancaster but that public safety is maintained.  Following the recent survey, a number of urgent repairs have been identified and the costs associated with these repairs are to be explored with the Co-op.

In summary

The council wants to make it clear that this is about the building and public safety.

The council is as concerned about the Musicians' Co-op as local people are, and is trying to find a way to ensure that public safety is maintained and the long-term stability of the building is assured.

The Musicians’ Co-op plays an important role in Lancaster district’s music scene. The council is very supportive of its valuable work and wants to see it thrive.

Our aim is that the Co-op continues to provide a home for musicians for many years to come and develops a real partnership with the council to promote music in Lancaster, as part of its important cultural offer.

Last updated: 24 October 2018