36. Could this be the answer?
The Hunt is On
This positive stance from City Council officers back then, who having read our little book & met us, totally got what we were about – bought us precious time.
Like us, they genuinely wanted to promote musical diversity & racial tolerance & saw the value of WHQ in Newcastle in doing that.
We scanned the City looking at every single derelict premises, to see if one would fit the bill..?
Eventually we stumbled upon a derelict warehouse, that was then called India House in Carliol Square.
It was for up for rent, but rent was no good to us.
Our original site was a freehold, so we weren’t up for leaving that behind, to have some greedy landlord breathing down our necks.
After lengthy, lengthy, lengthy, (what did Harald say do again..?) negotiations, we were able to cut a deal to buy the lease on the building.
Problem was it only had 30 years left to run on it. So we negotiated with the Council, as they owned the land the building stood on.
Eventually, we got them to raise the term to 125 years.
That meant we owned the bricks & mortar, but we had to pay the Council an annual rent of several thousand quid for the land the building stood on.
It wasn’t a freehold, but we could live with that for now.
However, we were sharp enough, to get a clause inserted that would let us buy out the ground lease after ten years.
(Editor’s note: Here’s a map of early Newcastle, showing the site of the Old City Gaol, on which WHQ now stands in Carliol Square).
We knew the game was long & we’d still be well in it by then, so we used some of that long term Brian Andrews type thinking.
So everything except the loot was now in place.
It was a great building. Well run down mind, but we could see the potential in it for sure…
It had everything we wanted…
It was in a cul de sac… It had no passing trade…
It wasn’t on any drinking route & was totally off the beaten track…
Yet it was under 5 mins from the center of town.
It seemed just so perfect…
It cost an absolute fortune & the cost of converting it into a state of the art Nightclub was gonna be simply ridonkulous..!