In Limbo

Ginglik still waiting to hear their fate

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Supporters gather to save nightclub

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Save Ginglik petition

Ginglik owners "gutted" over threatened closure

Residents approve of plans for Shepherd's Bush Green

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Ginglik say they are running out of time to save their nightclub on Shepherd’s Bush Green, which is threatened with closure unless essential repairs are carried out to the building.

The Council, which is the landlord, says taxpayers cannot afford to pay the £300,000 needed to replace the roof and make the building safe.

But work to revamp the Green is due to start in the spring and Ginglik’s owners say that if they have to quit the underground club, the Council would need to give them six months’ notice – which could mean any day now.

“The Council are doing their best to come to some kind of solution but we’re not taking it too seriously until we get something on paper,” said co-founder Tammi Willis. “I think they’ve been bad at communicating with us. We just want to know,” she said.

Willis said Ginglik had found a financial backer to save the club, but that the Council would only offer him a 20-year lease, which was too short. “He wants a long enough lease to be able to make back his investment,” she explained. “They (the Council) cancelled a meeting with him and have re-scheduled it until the end of October.

“We’ve also asked to see a copy of the Council’s (structural) survey three times, but they still haven’t released it to us,” she said.

The Council told ShepherdsBushW12.com there was a possibility that a longer lease could be considered but that they needed to check what was possible legally. They said the survey had also not yet been released for legal reasons and that things were moving, but slowly.

Willis said Ginglik members would not give up their fight: “We’re going to continue the campaign until we reach a solution or they tell us outright that we have to leave,” she told ShepherdsBushW12.com.

The Council were castigated on national television recently when Ginglik staff were invited onto Al Murray’s Happy Hour on ITV as Pub of the Week.

Murray led the studio audience in a chant of “Shame on you!”, directed at H&F for refusing to pay for repairs to the former underground toilet.

However, in a heated debate on the Hammersmith Forum, some residents say they agree that the Council should not spend taxpayers’ money on this.

“I have read the background on the reports on this site and elsewhere and still remain unclear why £300,000 of public money should be spent on a private club,” writes Karen Cooper.

"It's the Council that is directly responsible for the threat posed to this very popular amenity. And why should comedy clubs not be high on the Council's list of priorities? Do they not add to the quality of life in the borough?" retorts Charles Lawrence.  

Ginglik say 2,000 people have signed an online petition to save the club and a crowd of protesters turned out to support Ginglik at a demonstration on the Green almost two weeks ago.

Cllr Paul Bristow, Council Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services, attended the event. “The Council has always wanted to save Ginglik and while taxpayers cannot afford the £300,000 worth of repairs, there could be other ways to save the club. As the current landlord we are working with (founders) Tammi and Colin to help them look at a range of solutions,” he said.

“We back the Ginglik’s efforts to save their club 100 per cent and will continue to support them in any way we can,” Cllr Bristow added.

Yasmine Estaphanos

2 October 2008