Wednesday, June 10, 2020

The end of the line?

Of all the Cardiff music venues I would have anticipated being under threat at the present time, Tramshed certainly wouldn't have been top of my list. And yet its future is "in severe jeopardy" - not due to coronavirus closure but due to planning regulations submitted by its own landlords.

DS Holdings are proposing to build a four-storey building on the land that currently performs an essential role as Tramshed's car park. With no alternative provisions for cars and tour buses set out in the plans, the venue is warning that its continued operation simply wouldn't be feasible. Even if the parking issue was to be resolved somehow, the suspicion is that Tramshed would be vulnerable to noise complaints from nimby newcomers who move into the neighbouring building and would likely suffer the same fate as the Point (and nearly Fuel too).

As a result, Tramshed find themselves in the uncomfortable position of having to challenge their own landlords and encourage others to do the same. You can register your objection here or, if the link still isn't working, by emailing and being sure to quote the reference code (17/01744/MJR).

Tramshed's commendably measured statement praises DS Holdings for "bringing new life into disused buildings and invigorating the surrounding area" - but a second phase of gentrification almost invariably follows the first, in which that "new life" is cynically used as a selling point and simultaneously snuffed out, because culture doesn't pay as well as corporate development.

Tramshed fulfils a vital role within the city's ecosystem and I've enjoyed numerous incredible evenings there over the last few years, starting with the Fall/Bo Ningen double bill in February 2017. As others have pointed out, if Cardiff Council allows Tramshed to die - as it has Buffalo, the Transport Club and (most egregiously) Gwdihw before it - then it makes the capital's self-proclaimed status as a "Music City" even more laughable.

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