AMG Launches Leicester Academy

UK venue operator Academy Music Group is continuing to build its relationship with student unions by securing a management deal to run three venues at Leicester University.

Two weeks after announcing it will be running the student union venues in Liverpool and Herftordshire, AMG also won a 10-year contract to run the 1,450-, 500- and 250-capacity rooms at Leicester Uni’s Percy Gee Building. It is undergoing a £15 million refurbishment to be completed by September.

The investment forms part of the university’s £1 billion development framework plan. Leicester has nearly 23,000 students.
“They approached us because they want a professionally run venue capable of attracting the best talent,” AMG chief exec John Northcote told Pollstar.

He said the wide range of rooms means the company will be able to help nurture bands through the early stages of their development. The rooms will be re-branded as O2 Academy Leicester, O2 Academy2 Leicester and O2 Academy3 Leicester.
The 250-capacity O2 Academy3 may be expected to pick up a lot of the acts that would have played Leicester Princess Charlotte, a 200-capacity club venue that closed at the beginning of the year.

“Students now choose where to study based on the social and cultural aspects of a town or city, as well as the university’s academic reputation. It’s a positive step to introduce the O2 Academy brand to Leicester in partnership with the Students’ Union,” Northcote explained.

Student officer Max Cawthorn added, “In years gone by, the Percy Gee building welcomed gigs from the likes of The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Jam and The Smiths and by working with Academy Music Group, we will once again attract top quality acts that music fans associate with O2 Academy venues nationwide.”