4 Feb 2017

Council pays $128k for Dunedin nightclub

5:13 pm on 4 February 2017

A Dunedin city councillor has defended the purchase of a former nightclub for $128,000, saying it is part of the council's core business.

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The Clean are among a roster of New Zealand bands to have played at Sammy's over the decades. Photo: Ben Howe

The council has bought the 120-year-old Sammy's club building on Crawford Street, months after the nightclub there closed when it lost its liquor licence.

The building is not heritage-listed.

Community and culture committee chair Aaron Hawkins said demolition was a real threat for what has been a leading live-music venue for decades.

"Supporting our creative community and having spaces for both our local artists and visiting artists to perform in is a very key part of what makes Dunedin a great city to live in, so I think it's absolutely core business - particularly in this case, where there was a very real threat that we would lose that building."

The Pogues and Violent Femmes are among major international acts to have played the venue in recent years.

A roster of local acts - including The Clean, The Chills and The Verlaines - have also taken to the stage at Sammy's.

The council said it had won a rent holiday for two years from the owner of the land.