Slung Low have announced that they will be moving from The Holbeck club to new premises in the area in the next 12 months.
The theatre group, which formed an innovative partnership with the oldest continuously open working men’s club in Britain, made the announcement at the club’s Annual General Meeting yesterday (3 April 2022).
Slung Low have released the following statement:
In the years we’ve been in residency in the oldest working men’s club in Britain we’ve hosted hundreds of shows, hundreds of community events and thousands of rehearsals for the city’s artists, professionalised the bar and paid off the club’s substantial historic debt.
We’ve launched a community football club, delivered 15,202 food parcels, and secured tens of thousands of pounds in funding for the club. And made so many new friends. And we’ve poured our hearts and soul into this place: we love The Holbeck.
And, thanks to the support of you, made the only public performance space in Holbeck physically accessible to all.
The only public performance space in Holbeck? The only event room in Holbeck? That can’t be right.
A place like Holbeck, as brilliant as Holbeck, surely has more than one palace of fun? No?
Well hold your horses.
Slung Low will be creating a new creative cultural space in Holbeck: a fun palace. A place designed to welcome all our communities to exciting, engaging, thrilling events. The biggest we’ve ever run, capable of more creativity, more usefulness, more adventures.
And The Holbeck? The Holbeck remains a brilliant wonderful space that we are sure to return to over and over. It remains the oldest working men’s club that is so important for so many. It remains accessible. It remains owned by its members. And it is debt free, recent grants safe in the bank, ready to embrace its next 150 years. And with the recently minted committee it has a group of leaders vocal and certain in a new direction.
This morning the members approved Slung Low’s motion at the AGM for management control of the club to return to the Committee at their most advantageous time before 31 December 2022. Over the next few months we will work together with the club’s committee to create a timetable to see us withdraw from the club in a manner ensuring it can continue to thrive without us and we can continue to meet our responsibilities to all our communities.
This is a story of confidence and expansion. Holbeck, a place that should have more than one event space. More than one stage. So that the families, the artists, all the residents, all the communities of the area can have the best cultural life possible. It is a story of a community bold and growing. Slung Low’s commitment to that story, to Holbeck, is absolute.
And the new Slung Low venue? Well the details are coming soon. And then we’ll have to have you down. All welcome. Wherever we are, all welcome. Always.
Slung Low previously occupied five railway arches on Bath Road, which they dubbed the Holbeck Underground Ballroom or HUB. As a theatre company they specialise in large outdoor performances, often working with members of the community. More recently they opened a Cultural Community College and launched Leeds People’s Theatre with whom they’ve just finished filming their second film. They also Holbeck Moor FC an open access community football club last year.