Historic club under threat

Byerden House
Byerden House

The future of one of Burnley’s most iconic clubs could hinge on a huge day of live music next month.

Dwindling attendances and rising running costs have left Byerden House fighting an uphill battle as it struggles on day-to-day.

Phil Schofield, Dawn Mulgrew and Mark Procter (s)

Phil Schofield, Dawn Mulgrew and Mark Procter (s)

Secretary Mark Proctor called the current climate a “nightmare” but hoped a fund-raising gig, taking place on Sunday, February 19th, would help the Colne Road venue keep its head above water for a while longer.

“Sometimes it makes money, sometimes it doesn’t,” he told the Express. “Every month-end is a nightmare. This New Year was good for us but Christmas was lousy. I don’t know why people just aren’t coming out any more. Reports from other local bars were the same over the Christmas period. Lousy.

“I know the licensed trade is on its knees but Byerden doesn’t really need loads of money to keep going. Just a bit of spare cash would keep it open for a long time.

“We have two free functions rooms and we need party bookings for these rooms.

“I’ve now put in £1,200 of my own money but I can’t keep doing that as I don’t have loads.

“Aside from the arrears the last management committee built up, which are now almost cleared but still hitting us every month, the rates bill is the main problem. We pay nearly £7,000 a year even though we’re a registered non-profit making organisation.

“We don’t receive any street cleaning or lighting or drainage services from Burnley Council for the rates we pay either.

“I’m currently in the middle of trying to get the rates bill down or removed. I live in hope. If we didn’t have that bill the club would stay open forever.”

The Byerden House Benefit Bash will feature a host of live acts playing throughout the day all for free.

It is the brainchild of local music lovers Phil Schofield, who runs the Facebook page “Bands and Venues Burnley and Pendle”, and Dawn Mulgrew, who blogs for the North West Bands website.

Upon hearing about Byerden’s plight the pair issued a rallying cry to bands across the region and were left overwhelmed by the response they received.

Phil said: “We’re amazed at the response to this from the local music community, coming together in unison to support a much loved local club.

“The club has such a great concert room and stage that we are confident that with the success of this event, further events could possibly be staged there.

“The next push is to get the punters in and possibly get some local businesses to sponsor this event.”

Bands taking part include The Switch, Losing Touch, Covered in Punk, Roadkill Revival, Badhands, The Charly Syndrome, Deacon Brody, Rhiain, Odall, Daughter of Darkness, Rob Wells, Jason Milburn and Breezico.

Mark added: “The big band show was suggested by Phil and Dawn and the response has been incredible.

“All the bands are appearing for nothing and people have said they’re coming from all over. It should be a really good event and hopefully the start of something.”

A Crowdfunder page has also been launched and anybody wishing to donate can do so here - http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/byerden-house-social-club.