Monday, March 7, 2022

News: Operators look ahead as The Trades is torn down


"The Hive is dead, long live The Hive." Thats the message from the passionate team of directors helping to put Rotherham back on the map for live music.

Last month, The Trades in Rotherham town centre was demolished. The future of Greasbrough Road site had been in question after the owner of the adjacent car park hinted at its potential closure and demolition in a planning application in 2017.

During that time, The Hive started working with the old venue to bring a wide variety of live music to the town as an "upstart side venue." During the pandemic a deal was struck with the Old Mill Brewery to move to the adjacent Bridge Inn and turn, what was a designated pub for visiting football fans, into a live music venue.

A recent Facebook post said: "As our old gaff gets levelled today - its a great time to reflect upon how far The Hive/The Bridge has come.

"A flood, a fire, and a lot of graft later we migrated to The Bridge as a gamble for both us (now five) directors and The Old Mill Brewery to take on a team of musicians, instead of a married pub couple. Thanks to volounteers, local encouragement and a shedload of musicians from almost every continent - we’ve grown from a DIY event space to a professional rigged up venue with accomodation, real ale pub, safe space, musical community hub .. and soon to be an eatery too."

The 2017 plans involving the demolition of The Trades included extending the existing car park, that accommodates 50 spaces, to allow for approximately 70 additional spaces plus four disabled parking bays and three Electric Vehicle (EV) bays.

That 2017 application explained the situation at the time, stating that the "future of the Trades and the site has been in serious question since 2007.

"Historically the Trades was a busy traditional Working Mens Club environment that had a strong membership supported predominately by the local steel workers. In more recent years the Trades has seen a significant decline in membership due to changes in lifestyle and demographic. The introduction of cheap alcohol and changes to licensing, not helped by the smoking ban, has seen a significant shift in the way members and customers use facilities like the Trades.

"The Trades building was hit by the flood of June 2007, which resulted in significant water damage and its closure for eight months, since then it has been virtually impossible to get contents insurance for the facility. When the Trades was closed its customers were forced to find new places to drink and start new after work and weekend social routines away from the Trades. The venue eventually reopened and was re-let, but the customer base had dispersed and two separate attempts by different landlords to relaunch the facility both failed to draw customers back which resulted in insolvency and the Trades closed again."

Further flooding and the pandemic saw the end for The Trades.

The Hive / Bridge Inn Facebook page

Images: The Hive / Bridge Inn / Facebook


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