Nudge 8 – The Millennium

We are excited to share the news that we have bought the The Millennium building on Union Street in partnership with Eat Work Art.

This building has been standing empty for 15 years. It holds really special memories for lots of people. Built in 1931 as The Gaumont Palace it’s been a dance hall, roller disco and much loved nightclub.

‘We bought the building because it is too important to our community to be standing empty. Taking on a major building on the street was always part of our plan, it’s taken a long time with lots of twists and turns. We are nervous and excited about giving this building a nudge!’ Hannah, Nudge Co-Director

‘As local residents we now really understand what it takes to get some of these tricky buildings into use. Our community are at the heart of everything we do and their support and skills have got us to where we are now. We can’t do it on our own, collaboration and creativity is key to getting this building contributing back to our economy and community.’ Wendy, Nudge Co-Director

We were able to buy the building with the support of The Rank Foundation and Power to Change. Both funders have been supporting social enterprises and community businesses to thrive in the city thanks to the ongoing work of Plymouth Social Enterprise Network.

Nudge and Eat Work Art take a similar approach to breathing life back into buildings. We will be making it safe to open up for a mix of temporary and commercial uses as soon as we can. We will then test out what could work, and build up to investing in what is needed to get the building back into long term sustainable use. Look out for events and opportunities to support the project over the coming months.

Buying a building that is a potential venue might seem strange right now, but we have been working towards this for several years. We will experiment within current guidelines to see if there is still a gap in the market in the city for a medium sized venue and if this could be it.

The building is opposite the Council led development on Bath Street and we look forward to this building connecting our local community to that investment and contributing to the city vision for the area.

Nudge will be running a community share offer next year to give local people the opportunity to invest in the project and play a part in making Union Street a street the whole world loves. Look out for events, activity and more as we start our journey with this building.

Thank you to all the people and organisations that have supported us to learn, make things happen, have fun and keep being brave.

Phil Davies, the Rank Foundation’s Associate Director for Plymouth: Rank has close historical ties to the Millennium building, dating back to the early 1940s when Rank acquired Gaumont cinemas – of which Plymouth’s Gaumont Palace was one, before it became the Top Rank Entertainment Centre in the 1960s. Indeed, it was the wealth from Rank’s film companies which has enabled the Foundation to make charitable grants for over sixty years.

But Rank’s financial support for Nudge Community Builders isn’t about the past; it is firmly rooted in an optimistic view of the future – one in which the continued regeneration of buildings in Union Street supports community cohesion, helps to deliver better community activities and services, and in so doing helps to reverse both social and economic decline. Nudge’s successful redevelopment of ‘The Clipper’ and ‘The Plot’ should give us all confidence that the Millennium building can be brought back to life as a wonderful asset for the community.’

Natasha Ley, Media Manager at Power to Change: “The transfer of The Millennium into community hands is a pivotal moment for Plymouth’s Union Street. In the hands of the community, there’s significant opportunity to turn the tide on the years of neglect and decline. Local people can now repurpose this landmark building to deliver the services they need, whilst retaining the wealth it generates in the local economy. This localism will bring greater stability to Union Street and help deliver wider regeneration.”

Lots of people have researched this gorgeous building. As part of our plans we look forward finding ways to hear local peoples stories – every local person has one! Here are some links about it’s history:

Fab photos of the building through the years – https://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/whats-on/music-nightlife/gallery/millennium-nightclub-union-street-plymouth-2163539

Old Plymouth info by Brian Moseley: http://www.oldplymouth.uk/Gaumont%20Palace%20Cinema.htm

Interview as the building closes in 1961 for redevelopment: https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-plymouths-gaumont-cinema-closure-1961-online

18 thoughts on “Nudge 8 – The Millennium

  1. David Green says:

    Well done, well done & well done 🙂 Absolutely my favourite building in the city & one i had the joy of putting on over 130 events in and taking to the top of the countries club charts. It’s a magical building & a church for many.

  2. kay shread says:

    I wish it could be a dace venue again, there is nowhere in Plymouth that is a bit more upmarket for the people who remember it as it was in the 60s 70s &80s, we are not too old to still enjoy dancing and socializing.

  3. June Staple says:

    Remember the building as Majestic in the late 60’s. Met my husband there. Great memories. Saw Status Quo there. On an ordinary disco evening there was a kind of walking and circling round the dance floor to see everyone.

  4. Harry Marlow says:

    Wow and a huge thank you. I spent the 90s in that place. I’m a builder many skills and experience, I worked on Royal William Yard. Built the Loundry lounge union St, I can spare some time to help. Also I’m an artist. Ocean city artist Harry Marlow. I’m very happy about this news.

  5. David kent says:

    Overwhealmed to hear this fantastic news , so many memories of fantastic friends, laughter and dancing in what was once the countries top club venue….. a pivitol part of Plymouth’s history. Superb news

  6. Steve Anniss says:

    This is such a worthwhile project. Congratulations and a MASSIVE thank you to those responsible for saving it. I spent at least two nights a week every week in what was called The Top Rank Suite. It was an amazing venue and I would love to think it could be returned to its former glory.

  7. Jefferson Vandike says:

    Absolutely amazing news all round!! Very well done to all involved!! I’m sure i speak for many when i say that i’m really looking forward to hearing and seeing new life breathed into what used to be both mine and many others second home…long live The Warehouse!!🙏 🎶 🙂

  8. deepn8tive says:

    Absolutely amazing news all round!! Very well done to all involved!! I’m sure i speak for many when i say that i’m really looking forward to hearing and seeing new life breathed into what used to be both mine and many others second home…long live The Warehouse!!🙏 🎶 🙂

  9. Kate Smith says:

    Awesome work Nudgers!
    Can’t wait to see what magic you create with this!
    👏👏👏👏👏👏👏😘👏👏👏👏👏👏👏

  10. Aaron david Edwards says:

    This is awesome much loved club and such a waste it just sitting there onwards and upwards I say we’ll done

  11. Margaret Murdoch says:

    Hi Wendy, Hannah and all- Congratulations! How exciting! Thrilling news! I’m so pleased for you all. I’ll take this opportunity to ask if you want the books I have that am very happy to donate? Mostly books on Art and would fill a bookcase.
    Very Best wishes
    Margaret

  12. Harry Lea says:

    Hi Hanna, Wendy, Laura, Cherokee and Lacey team NUDGE!
    Congratulations!
    Omg how exciting!
    What a fantastic opportunity you have!
    My name is Harry Lea and I am a Singer/Entertainer in Plymouth. I unfortunately have not sung for a while as I had an operation on my throat but I am also a drummer in a band that has recently got back together as we realised we are all still alive lol. The bands name is Geneva and we had our first rehearsals in the Millennium when it became a roller rink for a short time in the 80s and I remember how scary it was roaming around in the dark till I found the light switches and turning the lights on and how wonderful it was when it lit up and I looked at the vast space with that gorgeous ceiling. No matter how many times I done that, it was always a wonderful feeling of awesomeness. The acoustics were amazing! Our band at the time became quite well known around the Plymouth circuit and we Played at the big battle of the bands Show in The Palace Theatre in Union street and was on Radio Devon. We are now back together and we rehearse at pirate studios in Stonehouse which are fantastic rehearsal rooms and recording studios, mainly as it is run Virtually through their website and by that I mean there are no staff ever on site. Everyone gets given their own code to enter each time they book and pay for a room. Brilliant!. They are always booked up and have several rooms. My idea is that the rooms downstairs in the Millennium, could easily and quite cheaply be transformed into studios and rehearsal rooms for hire in the same way but also maybe for dance teaching and rehearsal too. If your thoughts were to go down this route I would love to get involved if I could? I am currently unemployed so can put as much time into it as you want me to and I have a lot of connections in the local music community and years of experience in sound lighting and entertainment. I myself have performed at Plymouth Pavilions as a Singer/ entertainer for the Plymouth 50 years celebration of the Plymouth community health Which was a huge Ball in 2008. My Duo was Harry Lea and Steve Maben and we performed the hole evening on the main stage with the use of a beautiful stage set up and the in house lighting and sound which was awesome. For the last 20 years my duo has been one of the hardest working acts in the city and whatever I put my heart and soul into I give 110%. I would also like to help in any way, maybe organising some great events in places around Plymouth to raise funds for any of the projects in The Millennium. I also recall seeing my last movie I ever saw at The Millennium when it was the Odeon and the movie was Close encounters of the third kind. One of the last movies to be shown there!
    If I can help in any way? Please contact me. I wish you all the best in your endeavours with this project and I know you will succeed as this is a golden opportunity for the whole community and for the whole of Plymouth. Once again Congratulations and well done!

    Kind Regards
    Harry Lea

  13. stewart says:

    This is great news. I love your passion and energy. All the best of luck and positive vibes. Looking forward to some day time dancing 🙂

  14. Sue Cheney says:

    Congratulations! Fabulous news for Nudge,for Union St and for Plymouth. I can’t wait to see how this evolves. Well done Wendy and Hannah, and everyone else involved. Love the video!!

  15. Sharon Jones. says:

    What fantastic news! I can imagine the building, powerwashed externally and all the extraneous modern gubbins removed, to allow the wonderful Art Deco lines to show their best. So many uses to think of, how exciting!

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