Heathrow To London In 25

European promoters who visit the U.K. regularly are more likely to be pleased about being able to get from Heathrow Airport to central London in 25 minutes than they are to mourn the loss of the city’s Astoria venue.

The 1,000-capacity room and the smaller Mean Fiddler, which is in the same Charing Cross Road building, are likely to be rubbled when work starts on the new railway linking east and west London.

The "Crossrail project" – as it was originally called – has been on the government backburner for years, but Prime Minister Gordon Brown gave it the go-ahead October 5 and the Corporation Of London has chipped in £200 million of its own cash to help break the impasse over funding.

The line will run from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east, including stops in London’s West End, The City and Docklands.

Irish promoter Denis Desmond and Live Nation have the lease on the Astoria building, which they bought when acquiring Mean Fiddler Music Group. It’s believed to run through to December 2008.

If the building doesn’t need to be knocked down before the lease has expired, and it’s unlikely earth will get turned for at least a couple of years, current owners Derwent Valley Holdings have shown a willingness to extend the lease until it does.

Neither The Astoria nor The Mean Fiddler was in the package of London venue leases that Desmond and LN sold to MAMA Group earlier in the year.

Last year fans collected about 30,000 signatures on a petition to save the The Astoria, which has played host to shows by top talent including The Rolling Stones, Oasis, Nirvana and Blur, but aiming it at Derwent Valley looks to have been wide of the mark.

No matter how many signatures are on the petition, the owner has no control over what happens to the site.

Since the idea of the rail-link was first conceived it’s been subject to a government compulsory purchase order.

At the time of the petition, a spokesman for Derwent Valley Holdings managing director John Burns told Pollstar the company had "no current proposals for the site" and would be waiting to hear of any progress on the project.