Bid to save world-famous home of The Orbit techno club night as The New Pavilion in Morley set to be auctioned off

A last minute bid to save the former home of a world-famous club night in Morley has been launched.

Thursday, 27th August 2020, 11:45 am

The Orbit, based in The New Pavilion building, gained a cult status around the world in the nineties for its weekly techno nights.

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The building started out as a "Cine-Variety Theatre" in 1911 and served as a cinema, theatre and bingo hall and then The Afterdark nightclub.

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Planning permission was granted in 2014 to turn the building into flats - but that has now lapsed and the building is going up for auction next month.

It is not a listed building and so could be torn down.

A petition has been set up on the website to try to salvage the building.

The petition, which has been signed by more than 160 people, states: "We would like the building to be listed as a place of cultural interest and ideally purchased by a trust that will oversee its renovation and re-purposing into a community space that will benefit the local residents and possibly attract visitors to the town.

The New Pavilion building, Morley (photo: Google).

"The New Pavilion Building is perhaps most famously known for being the location of the world renowned Orbit music events which were held there from 1990-2003 when the building was known as the Afterdark nightclub.

"The Orbit gained cult status amongst the worldwide clubbing scene and was known as the UK Mecca of Techno due to its cutting edge music and DJ bookings policy.

"Leading acts from around the world were a weekly phenomenon in this small Yorkshire mining town and the club developed a reputation as arguably the best techno institution in the world which still has many dedicated followers to this day."

Signing the petition, Simon Whipp wrote: "This building holds some of the most precious memories of my life and represents the rich history of the area."

The New Pavilion building, Morley (photo: Google).

Paul Smyth wrote: "This is a culture heritage site for electronic music and its timestamp on history that is overlooked."

Richard Hinchcliffe added: "This is a historic building. The Orbit was one of the most iconic nights in Europe at its peak."

The building is being auctioned by Auction House London on Tuesday, September 15, with a guide price of £475,000.

The petition, which is aimed at Leeds City Council, the Postcode Lottery, the National Lottery, Historic England and English Heritage, adds: "We feel the building deserves to be saved from demolition and this petition has been created as a last minute attempt to try and raise awareness of its importance in UK cultural and musical history.

"What happened here was once the UK’s answer to the world famous Tresor club in Berlin and it cannot be overlooked that demolishing this building would essentially be like demolishing the 'Graceland' of 90’s Electronic dance music."


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