Liverpool's Cavern Club could close permanently
17 August 2020, 16:53 | Updated: 17 August 2020, 18:33
The iconic venue, which has a famous connection to The Beatles, could be under threat due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Liverpool's historic Cavern Club could close permanently, due COVID-19.
The new site of the iconic venue - where The Beatles made almost 300 appearances between 1961 and 1963 - was recently forced to let go 20 of its employees, with more layoffs expected, after the pandemic led to business closures worldwide.
Now, the city's Mayor Joe Anderson has warned that if its bid to the Government's Cultural Recovery Fund fails, the club will close indefinitely.
He told The Liverpool Echo: "The fact that the world-famous Cavern could close forever because of COVID-19 should bring home to the Government how much our hugely treasured music industry is in peril.
This virus has caused unimaginable pain and grief but it's proving to be an existential threat to our cultural scene.
"The prospect of losing a national jewel like the Cavern is a horrible scenario for all concerned, be they Beatles fans, music lovers and above all those whose livelihoods depend on it."
The original club at 7 Mathew Street played host to not only The Beatles, but also local acts Gerry And The Pacemakers, Billy J Kramer and Cilla Black, plus bands from other parts of the UK including The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, The Who and The Yardbirds
The original location was demolished in 1973, when the original cellar venue was closed and the buildings above were demolished to make way for the new Merseyrail project.
In the 1980s, an attempt was made to excavate the original cellar, but the location was found to be structurally unsafe, so the area was redeveloped as the Cavern Walks shopping centre, with a new Cavern Club at 8-12 Mathew Street and Abbey Road pub.
Bill Heckle, one of the directors of the club and of Cavern City Tours, added: "We made a decision a few years ago to keep as much money in the bank as possible for a rainy day, not knowing it was going to be a thunderstorm.
"So, we were sitting on £1.4 million in the bank that has now been halved."We went five months before unfortunately we had to make about 20 people redundant.
"We think we might have to make another 20 redundant in the next few weeks, so it’s heart-breaking you know these people are part of this team and this global family."
He added: "It's a very vibrant part of the Liverpool economy, which is why we're reaching out at the end of August and reopening the Cavern for a week, virtually and bands from all around the world have sent messages and recorded sets.
"We know we're not going to make money, it's about really reminding people we're here and the sole aim is to get out the other side.
"I'm sure we will, but it is about survival."