£1.2m takeover bid launched to 'buy back Sheffield's Tramlines Festival for the people'

The crowds at Tramlines in 2015.

The crowds at Tramlines in 2015.

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A fundraising appeal has been launched to buy Sheffield's Tramlines Festival for £1.2 million.

The Music City Foundation is behind the proposal and said it wanted to 'buy back the festival for the people'.

Sarah Nulty.

Sarah Nulty.

A deal has reportedly been struck between the not-for-profit organisation and current owners Tramlines Events to agree the offer in principal subject to shareholder approval.

The Foundation has been given until mid-June to raise the money and then the proposal would go before the board at Tramlines Events.

Foundation director Winston Hazel said it hoped to takeover the running of the festival in 2018.

He added: "Music City Foundation plans to buy back the festival for the people. Our aim is to support both economic and cultural growth. Sheffield is one of the most culturally diverse and stimulating cities in the UK.

"It is the birthplace of Arctic Monkeys, Pulp and Bring Me The Horizon. 7.4 per cent of our population is employed by the creative industries. The national average is just four per cent. "We want to ensure that Tramlines continues to support our vibrant culture while also contributing to the city’s economic success."

The Foundation is asking people to buy shares packages starting from £200.

The organisation - which launched in June last year and is registered to Glossop Road, Sheffield - has unveiled a countdown on its website musiccityfoundation.org stating that the fundraising appeal will be officially launched at an undisclosed location on Wednesday, April 12, at 7.30pm.

Sarah Nulty, festival director at Tramlines Events, reportedly said the board has 'agreed in principal' the deal with the Foundation subject to shareholder approval.

But she expressed disappointment that the Foundation had released details of "a possible sale of this magnitude" without consulting shareholders.

She added: "There are no changes to the 2017 event and we're all very excited to deliver yet another fantastic festival, with our biggest line-up yet."

The event began in 2009 and last year attracted more than 100,000 people. Acts appearing over the years have included Olly Murs, Heaven 17, Public Enemy, The Charlatans and Echo and the Bunnymen. Economic experts say it is now worth £9m to the city's economy.

Performers this year include The Libertines, Primal Scream and Kano.