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MJR closes The Assembly amid late payment issues

25 June 2019

THE MJR Group has closed 1,000-capacity The Assembly in Leamington Spa, but dismisses suggestions it has anything to do with payment issues within the Group, which have left some promoters and suppliers owed money for months.

MJR says the lease had run out on the venue and it had become commercially unviable to continue managing the Grade-II listed former dancehall, due to the level of rent and rates. 

The Group’s international marketing director Mark Dennis denies the closure is a reflection of wider challenges or issues within the company, which he says is planning on opening two new venues later this year. 

“MJR is currently enjoying its best year to date, with double digit growth in sales and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation,” he tells LIVE UK. “We are also very happy to have opened our Berlin office.”

Following the closure of the Assembly parts of the building appeared to have been vandalised. Dennis says an investigation is underway into the cause of the damage and the company is covering the repair bill. 

He says all future shows at the venue have been relocated and/or ticket buyers refunded. Forthcoming shows consisted largely of tribute acts including Ozzbest, UB40 Experience and The Specials Ltd. 

The Assembly opened in 1926 as The Bath Assembly Hall and underwent a multi-million-pound renovation in 2008, with MJR operating the venue from 2016.

Bristol-based MJR also manages venues such as Digbeth Arena (cap. 5,000), The Mill (700) in Digbeth, Cardiff’s Tramshed (1,000), Southampton’s Engine Rooms (800) and Plug (1,500) in Sheffield.

As well as promoting shows in the UK, MJR says it also organises concerts by acts including Rita Ora, Hans Zimmer, Steel Panther and 50 Cent in markets such as Australia/New Zealand, South Africa and the Middle East.

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