Readers reveal fears Preston could become 'culturally dead' after building that houses live music venue The Ferret goes up for sale

The building that houses The Ferret on Fylde Road has gone on sale for £795,000 and promoted by commercial estate agents Morgan Martin as a prospective residential development.

By Laura Longworth
Friday, 18th March 2022, 4:55 am
The operators of The Ferret were looking forward to finally bouncing back from a tough two years as a result of the pandemic
The operators of The Ferret were looking forward to finally bouncing back from a tough two years as a result of the pandemic

Operators of the live music venue, which originally opened as The Mad Ferret in 2006, now face uncertainty about its future once their lease expires next year.

When the Lancashire Post reported on the decision, several readers expressed their disappointment, with Liam Pennington calling it, “pretty awful news.”

Emma Lowther-Wright agreed, saying: “This would be such a huge loss.”

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Lee Holding shared his sympathy with the operators, saying: “Such a shame after all the battles they had to secure funding during the lockdowns.

David Bamber believes the venue is a cornerstone for live music in the city. He said: “If this building is sold from under them, this would be an absolute catastrophe for the live music scene in Preston. We've been to some fantastic gigs there recently, the likes of John Bramwell, A Certain Ratio, Lottery Winners, Orielles to name a few. It has always had such a relaxed, intimate feel.

“With 53 Degrees across the road and the Guild Hall having long since closed their doors, it's not as if the city is blessed with alternatives either!

“I don't think it's too dramatic to say that this place is the heartbeat of music in Preston and if it closes the city would, in an instant, become culturally dead.”

Playfully recalling fond memories of performing at The Ferret, David Cartwright said: “I played there three times with my very heavy metal band (Lostock Hall Memorial Band), playing Christmas Carols. We got a great reception, even had a mosh pit.”

Some Facebook users like Conor Killilea speculated on how the site would be used if snapped up by new owners, saying: “Prime location for more student flats.”

And David Geraghty added: “Plans for UClan maybe.”

Finally, Zita Bielby commented: “I'm surprised the building is not listed. It was originally built as one of John Horrocks' cotton mills in the late 18th Century.”

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