Ministry of Sound is a flagship for British youth culture; an iconic brand that includes a club, the worldâ€™s largest independent record label, and a multimedia entertainment business, all directed from the companyâ€™s South London home.
For 18 years the beating heart of Ministry of Sound has been the Southwark venue at 103 Gaunt Street that in addition to the legendary nightclub, also houses its main offices and 200 staff (a further 300 staff are employed worldwide in offices in New York, Sydney, and Berlin). The club holds over 200 events a year, with an annual attendance in excess of 300,000.
The future of the SE1 venue has been put in doubt following a planning application by property developer Oakmayne. The company has submitted plans for a residential building on the site of the old Eileen House, which, if built, would sit opposite the Ministry of Sound building and could pose a significant threat to the clubâ€™s entertainment license.
Oakmayneâ€™s attitude towards preserving the longevity of the club is perhaps best summed up by a comment from its chairman, Christopher Allen, who when questioned gave his opinion that â€œnightclubs come and goâ€.
A leading light for regeneration in the Southwark area since 1991, Ministry of Sound has played a strong role in the local community from the start, employing local residents, providing an event space for the people of Southwark, and championing local causes.
It has housed conferences ranging from the UKâ€™s Youth Parliament to Mothers Against Guns, Urban Mission, and many more. On 14th April Ministry of Sound will host a Crime Stoppers awareness day for local under 18â€™s; 25th August will see â€˜Put It Downâ€™, an anti-gun and knife crime event featuring 400 young people, live performances, and workshops.
The boroughâ€™s MP, Simon Hughes, and Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, have both visited the venue in recent times.
Ministry of Sound Group CEO Lohan Presencer said: â€œWhen Oakmayne told us that â€œnightclubs come and goâ€, we were horrified. Ministry of Sound is not just any nightclub; itâ€™s the most famous nightclub in the world and the heart of a global entertainment business.
These developers have cut corners at every stage and counter to their claims, they do not have the best interests of the local community at heart. We must do everything in our power to save our club and our businessâ€.