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Mansion set to close January, as other York venues flag

A flurry of closing York venues has prompted questions about the sanitisation of York

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Image Credit: Luke Snell

The Mansion Nightclub on Micklegate in York’s city centre has announced that it is preparing to shut its doors at the current venue.

This decision has come after the landlord and property owner has decided against renewing the tenancy for Upstairs VIP Ltd, the company that operates the Mansion club from the Micklegate premises. As such, Upstairs VIP Ltd have announced that they will aim to locate a new venue, but have admitted that it will be a challenge to find somewhere suitable for the crowds of 500 people that their current building can support.

The Mansion club and its current location, not to be confused with the Mansion House that sometimes houses the lord mayor of York, also doubles as a sexual entertainment venue known as “Upstairs”. Upstairs is one of only two adult entertainment clubs in the entire city of York and as they are run by the same company that facet of Mansion will also be closing for the foreseeable future.

The news comes less than a year after the club and its owners applied for a renewal of their sexual entertainment licence with York Council in February to allow for the continued existence of the sexual entertainment venue that is part of the premises. Sexual entertainment permits last only 12 months, however this does mean that Upstairs will be fully covered to legally operate until they close their doors. Mansion has been a constant presence in York’s nightlife since 2011, and has been the centre point of numerous news stories in the past.

In 2015, they became the first, and only, club in York to be allowed to remain open until 6am on racedays and 5am on every other day of the week, which continues to separate the club from other venues in the city that have their latest curfew at 4am. While the Upstairs club that shares the venue did not receive the same permissions, Mansion is still unique in this aspect to the rest of York’s nightlife.

The Mansion Underground Facebook page gave a heartfelt farewell message to all of their fans when confirming the news, reminiscing on the array of live musical performances and DJ sets that have occurred over the years in the club and stating that their “final dance” will occur on New Year’s Eve.

The club will be officially closing on 1 January with the landlord retaining control of the building five days later on 6 January. Mansion's social media pages have been announcing a multitude of events leading up to the nightclubs swansong rave on the night of New Year’s Eve.

The news about Mansion follows a succession of news surrounding venue closure in the rest of York. This week also featured the reveal of planning documents detailing the flats and office space to be built on the site that used to house Fibbers, a York Parties staple that has hosted LGBT-positive events like the Haus Of Dench, as well as club nights like Propaganda, and Igloo.

Developers North Star heralded a “new wave of office workers” that would potentially enter the job market in York, and said the proposed flats would meet “strong calls to provide more good quality offices to York.” Many residents understand the need for good-quality accommodation to meet the city housing crisis. That said, there has also been criticism that club night clubs in York have been slowly removed to mould a more sanitised vision of the city.

Earlier this month Councilors argued that music venues were nonetheless important, voting to protect the Crescent following the news that it was under threat from further development plans. There may yet be some hope for York’s club scene, again, coming from North Star (the same developers working on Fibbers.) A new venue is planned on Rougier Street that will cater both to a “family friendly audience,” and to “up and coming talent” from York’s buzzing music scene. The building is not intended to be part of the first phase of the scheme.

It currently seems as if building works will not start until 2024, leaving a substantial hole in York’s party calendar in the meantime. One thing is for certain: with the demolishing of some valued venues, and the building of other new ones, York’s night scene is about to change forever.

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