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From house music hub to modern office complex – the evolution of a historic Nottingham nightspot

From house music hub to modern office complex – the evolution of a historic Nottingham nightspot

As the city begins to reopen and the hustle and bustle returns to Nottingham’s high street, a local real estate firm is looking back at the 40-year heritage of a nationally renowned nightspot in the heart of The Lace Market.


Real estate firm Perrymead Estates has released a video charting the history of The Garage Studies, a Lace Market space which it has transformed from a once iconic music venue into a modern office complex.


Formerly home to The Garage, the first nightclub in the UK to play house music, the building at the heart of the city’s creative quarter is today leased office space. Perrymead Estates has breathed new life into the location – retaining nods to the venue’s hedonistic history throughout the interior. It includes a lift dominated by pictures taken of punters from within the nightclubs, across the decades.


Oliver Wheatcroft, Director of Perrymead Estates, reminisced to his younger days spent at the venue and said: “The Garage was fusion between the current rock music at the time and the emergence of electronic music. I remember being fresh faced and going to The Garage in the late 80s – I’ve spent plenty of late nights there.”


It is widely acknowledged as the venue that helped launch the UK’s dance music scene, and known for welcoming stars like The Doors, Boy George, and Jimi Hendrix. Over the decades, 41-43 St Mary’s Gate has had a variety of identities:


  • Reggae club Ad-Lib in the late 60s
  • The Garage in the late 80s
  • The Kool Kat in the early 90s
  • Reverting back to The Garage
  • being rescued from rising debts by The Lizard Lounge
  • Becoming BZR a decade later
  • Finally closing its doors in April 2015

The Garage is revered for not only welcoming stars through its doors but is credited for launching the successful career of DJ Graeme Park.

Hailed as one of the scene’s most pioneering DJs, Graeme originally worked at the former record shop Selectadisc before trying his luck as a DJ when a staff member called in sick. Graeme introduced house music to the decks, a move which sealed his superstar DJ reputation and ultimately earned him a regular gig at Manchester’s legendary Hacienda club.


Fast forward to 2021, the period building built in 1860 looks very different. Developers have refreshed the rundown site, converting it into eight serviced offices called The Garage Studios. As part of its multi-million-pound property portfolio, Perrymead Estates has revitalised a forgotten area of the Lace Market – investing £1.1m into the city.


With an eye for remarkable architecture, the building now comprises eight offices, a private meeting room and communal facilities.

Oliver added: “The offices are open plan, beautiful and light and many people choose The Lace Market as an office location, not just because of the business hub nature, but also because it’s a social hub.

“It was a fairly big project, and it took us about two years. The condition of the building was poor, and we had to introduce a new glass box to circulate up and down the building, but I think it provides a sense of drama to the architecture. The meeting room is a floating box, which is a contemporary addition that compliments the overall design of the building. You’ve got the lovely big Georgian windows and modern facilities, which is a perfect match.”



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