The beat goes on as The Flapper live music venue is given lease extension

Birmingham live music venue The Flapper has been given a 12-month stay of execution.

Baskerville Wharf, which owns the building, has offered The Flapper Ltd business a year-long extension of its lease, which has been accepted.

The popular canalside pub, close to Arena Birmingham , was due to close at the end of June 2018, when a two-day festival celebrating the pub’s history will still go ahead.

The move means that fans of the venue should be able to celebrate its 50th anniversary next year.

The new closing date given is now June 30, 2019.

Inside the main bar of The Flapper pub

Paul Morgan, founder of The Flapper Appreciation Society, said: “Although the 12 month extension is welcome news, it is likely the developer is looking to submit revised plans later in the year so we won’t get ahead of ourselves just yet.

“We will have to wait and see what happens, but until then it’s business as usual and the pub can even celebrate its 50th birthday in 2019!”

The site has been owned by Baskerville Wharf LLP since late 2010 and any development would be masterminded by Whitehorse Estates Ltd which is said to be planning to continue its discussions with Birmingham City Council about the future of the site.

A spokesman for The Flapper said today: “We have today accepted a 12-month lease extension from our landlord, Baskerville Wharf.

The listed crane at The Flapper
The listed crane at The Flapper

“All ‘Celebration Of The Flapper’ events will continue to take place. We have a few details to sort through regarding the ‘Final Weekend of Friday and Saturday, June 29-30.

“And we’ll be getting our heads down booking in some great shows and organising some amazing events for next 12 months.”

BirminghamLive has asked Whitehorse Estates Ltd for a comment about the latest twist in the ongoing saga.

Will Adams, managing director of development managers Whitehorse Estates Ltd
Will Adams, managing director of development managers Whitehorse Estates Ltd

The story so far

Will Adams, city-born managing director of development manager Whitehorse Estates Ltd, outlined its development plans during a public consultation in July 2017.

Artist impressions and CGI footage of a £10 million boat-shaped block of 66 apartments overlooking the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal were unveiled.

Objections to the plans were made by local residents, music fans and organisations including the Canal & River Trust and a campaign called Save The Flapper was launched.

View shows 'gangplank-style' walkway access to the planned apartment block next to the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal
View shows ‘gangplank-style’ walkway access to the planned apartment block next to the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal

More than 5,000 people signed a petition within 48 hours of it being set up.

Today it has been signed by 11,454 people and has a target of 15,000.

In November 2017, plans were submitted for the site’s redevelopment and the decision was made to terminate the lease on the property.

A Google Maps' 3D view of the Flapper and Firkin next to the Civic Centre, with the Library of Birmingham in the background and the Hyatt Hotel on the top right
A Google Maps’ 3D view of the Flapper and Firkin next to the Civic Centre, with the Library of Birmingham in the background and the Hyatt Hotel on the top right

In February, 2018, The Flapper announced it would cease trading on June 30.

Dr Ted Hiscock, who lives in one of the nearby Georgian cottages, said: “There are many facets of objections to this proposal but for me, one of the added dimensions that has to be considered is the utter lack of consideration for the six Grade II listed Georgian mews houses in Kingston Row, a mere 12 metres from the proposed building site.

“Daylight in two of them would be utterly obliterated.”

A spokesman for Whitehorse Estates said: “The site has been earmarked for regeneration for nearly a decade and as owners we have been clear about our intention to redevelop the site since we purchased it.”

Posters above the bar from David Bowie's Aladdin Sane to The Who and The Sex Pistols' Johnny Rotten
Posters above the bar from David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane to The Who and The Sex Pistols’ Johnny Rotten

On May 2, 2018, we reported that Whitehorse Estates had withdrawn its 2017 planning application.

A Whitehorse spokesman said: “This week we took the decision to withdraw the planning application for the site currently occupied by The Flapper.

“This decision enables us, as owners of the site, the opportunity to review feedback received and to continue discussions with Birmingham City Council regarding our plans to redevelop the site.

“In November we also made the decision to terminate the lease on the property. The decision to terminate the lease is not linked to the planning application.”

A door covered in band stickers leading into the live music room at The Flapper
A door covered in band stickers leading into the live music room at The Flapper

The latest twist

What fans are saying on The Flapper’s Facebook page

Robert Babik: “Excellent news, but can I get a refund on my tickets for the closing night?”

Jeni Hatton: “Glad there’s been a stay of execution.”

The Flapper and Firkin.

Colin Metcalfe: “Oh my days!!! The Gods of Metal and Ale have spoken!”

Kyle Doherty: “Brilliant news, Birmingham genuinely wouldn’t be the same without the place.”

Bradley William Hughes: “Great news over the moon. You guys can make it to the 50th anniversary!”

Carl Foxall: “After hearing this news, let’s hope The Flapper ends up NEVER closing.”


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