Britain’s Academy Music Group is expanding its portfolio of music venues with a deal to acquire the “Dome” in Birmingham, its second site in the English midlands city.
AMG has reached terms with Portmanor Projects, and has proposed a £4 million ($7.9 million) refurbishment program for the 45,000 sq foot site on Bristol Street, beginning in 2009.
The completed site, which AMG anticipates will become a “premier live entertainment venue,” will have an overall licensed capacity of 3,836.
Purpose-built in the 1970s as a nightclub, the Dome has been shuttered for a number of years. But the site, notes AMG CEO John Northcote, “ticks all our boxes, it’s a landmark building in a city centre location, it’s the right size and space to develop our strategy of a multi-room format and we can really push the boundaries to create Birmingham’s very best concert venue.”
England’s “second city” of Birmingham has an enduring status as a British musical hotspot, having produced acts ranging from rock staples Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath to pop-rock heavyweights Duran Duran and international pop/reggae stars UB40. In more recent years, the likes of alternative rock acts the Editors and the Twang plus pop singer Jamelia have emerged from the city.
Northcote sees a city poised for more growth. “Birmingham is very important to the group, as it was first city I chose outside of London some eight years ago to expand our Academy brand,” he notes. “From the off, it was a real success and without a doubt, is our busiest venue in the estate and it marked a true footprint for the roll-out of Academy venues nationwide.”
The new venue will be the 15th in AMG’s growing empire. Northcote recently told Billboard.biz he planned to open three new sites in 2009, driving home his vision to be “the dominant medium-sized player” in the U.K. live sector. The company’s venues have capacities ranging from 250 (Bar Academy Islington) to 5,000 (Carling Academy Brixton).