Council accused of forcing MelloMello out of business
MelloMello is a Community Interest Company and is run on a not-for-profit basis and therefore previously received 80% discretionary rate relief. The full rate is £30,000.
The company have protested the decision: “Due to the continued support of its customers MelloMello has grown into a business supporting upwards of 20 employees, housing several local creative businesses and provides a platform for hundreds of local Liverpool artists & performers to hone their craft.
“MelloMello is a beloved business, founded on hard work and dedication with no funding, investment or sponsorship, operating out of a previously derelict building, it has grown into a viable social enterprise and an integral element of Liverpool’s artistic, creative and musical culture.”
An online petition against the decision has already gathered nearly 4000 signatures after being launched last night. Facebook and Twitter have been flooded with messages of support from fans, including former Queen guitarist Brian May who tweeted his support earlier today.
One supporter of the petition, John Carvin, said “It’s almost a community centre unto itself.
“It deserves the [lower] rates because it’s not just a business, it’s like the center of lots of different communities. It bring people together, be it through music or art”
As with the recent u-turn over city centre busking, there appears to be some pressure being put on council leaders from fellow councillors, mainly young backbenchers, to find a solution.
The council have so far declined to comment.
MelloMello is only the latest cultural space to come under financial pressure. This year has already seen the closure of both the Masque and the Contemporary Urban Center, leading some to suggest Liverpool’s status as a city of culture may be under threat.