Legendary Sheffield music venue where The Clash played their first ever gig nominated as ‘asset of community value’ by council

A much-loved former Sheffield music venue which has played host to a series of key moments in rock history could be protected from development after a bid was accepted to name it as an ‘asset of community value’.

Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 9:43 am

The Boardwalk on Snig Hill, where the Clash played their first ever gig, and Joe Cocker was on stage as his single went to number one, has succeeded in being nominated as an AoCV by Sheffield Council.

If successful, the designation will require that a community group set up to protect the venue are provided with the opportunity to bid in the event of a future sale.

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The Boardwalk in Sheffield city centre as it used to look

As well as The Clash and Joe Cocker, the venue is linked to Sheffield band Arctic Monkeys who named their first demo Under the Boardwalk after frontman Alex Turner worked behind the bar.

It began life as a celebrated jazz club in the 1930s and has since had a series of names including the Black Swan or Mucky Duck, Fuel and Twist and most recently Bassbox.

AoCV protection was sought after property developer freeholder Bharat Patel of Chicken Villas Ltd blocked an agreed sale by leaseholders Enterprise Inns.

Del Tilling, the director of the not-for-profit community group hoping to take over the venue’s lease, said that if the AoCV was ultimately accepted, he hoped the ‘nationally important’ venue could become a destination for music lovers visiting the Steel City.

The Boardwalk on Snig Hill in Sheffield.

“We are passionate about saving this iconic Sheffield landmark from the developer,” he said.

“Every Sheffielder has a cherished Boardwalk memory, and we are convinced that the inclusion of a gallery, a ‘Joe to Jarvis’ museum and a performance space will provide a sustainable future for this much loved venue.”

A declaration of support for the AoCV has been signed by all five Sheffield city MPs who said the group’s proposed renovation of the venue would both celebrate the city’s rich musical history and bring economic and social value to the community.

Mr Tilling added that if they were successful in acquiring the lease, it was hoped the venue could host bands and gigs for the first time since 2011.

Bassbox nightclub on Snig Hill, in Sheffield city centre, which was previously known as The Boardwalk.

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The former Boardwalk nightclub on Snig Hill, in Sheffield city centre.