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Lemon tree closes


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aye they are getting lots of publicity for the campaign, good luck and lets hope they get somewhere....


and the irony http://living.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=1895752007 :roll:


Ironic indeed but is it not the case that it simply was not financially viable to keep open even after many grants from Aberdeen Council and Scottish Arts over the years?

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So my understanding of the situation is this, the board members wanted a venue for their particular brand of music and arts and expected everyone else to pay for it, when it was sugested that they put their money where their mouths are they refused and the Lemon Tree shuts.

I will have to say if not enough folks are willing to put their hand in their pocket and support a venture then does it really have any right to survive.

I have had a lot of fine nights at the Lemon Tree and it would probably be profitable if the management stuck to putting on shows/bands that are popular with folk willing to pay to see the acts. but when you are having to put on shows that a handfull of luvies think is the dogs danglies but not enough folk are willing to pay for then it will go tits up. and good riddance too.

peruvian pan pipes are great to listen to for a few minutes while out doing your shopping but are not viable when in a venue that needs heated, staff wages etc. why do the minority think it is ok for the majority to subsidise their particular taste in music?

just because it is art :?: :?:

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its not quite as simple and straight-forward as a self-indulgent board. The Lemon Tree was much more than an arts and music venue....


Post #228 from "prof-lofi" in this thread will add some perspective from someone on the inside.....




The LT goes into formal liquidation on Tues18, there is fundraising going on.... not all is lost but..............

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In an attempt to clear up some confusion over the Lemon Tree’s financial status….


The Lemon Tree was run as a charity, and its board are unpaid volunteers. The charity was implemented and subsidised in the main by Aberdeen City Council and Scottish Arts who, in the late 80s, had identified the need for a multi purpose arts venue in the city. It was never intended to be a commercial enterprise and any profits were invested back into the charity.


Due to recent reductions in Scottish Arts funding, financial difficulties reached crisis a point and the board were offered a loan by Aberdeen City Council with the proviso that the 9 board members be personally liable for £30,000 each. Unsurprisingly, these unpaid volunteers were unwilling and/or unable to take personal responsibility for the charity’s funding shortfall.


Remember that The Lemon Tree was not just a venue. It financed and provided performance space for many diverse programs including children and disabled people’s theatre, out reach arts programs into deprived areas of Aberdeen and music education workshops. These socially valuable activities are very unlikely to break even and would simply not take place if profit was the priority.

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A few years back was very briefly involved with trying to breathe some life back into the Lemon Tree.

As a teenager it was like a second home. The youth theatre, a meeting place for drinks/coffees, the gigs, friday's Live at the Lemon Tree (cheap soup & sandwich with great music) and the sunday jazz cafe lunches (when students would be taken by parents to make sure they got at least one decent meal a week). But a lot of the vibe left with the reorganisation of the councils (when Grampian was split). Over the years the prices went up and quality (especially the food) went down. Was quite impressed with one director who really seemed to be trying to get the PUBLIC to use the Lemon Tree. The Saturday family lunches were great, hence the Bairn being poster child for Lemon Tree for over 2years (she never did get a fee). A great progamme where there was something on nearly every night. The building really was coming alive again. But unfortunately there was some big stoochie, something about the Board (again) and the Director left in quite a nasty way. Since then the Lemon Tree seemed to stagnate.

One does wonder what ACC has in store for st Cathrines (st Kitts/Cates) as they've killed the Womens Centre. Shoppers creche was supposed to be moving to purpose built premises in one of the shopping centres. Pretty sure any covenant the YWCA put on it wouldn't be too strong, prime site for redevelopement. And hey new building in union terrace, without that troublesome Board of Directors.

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Received this today:-


Hi all,


Thanks so much for making this group expand so rapidly - please please please keep spreading the word further about the Lemon Tree and its demise. Would you believe, it was voted the Best Small Arts venue in Scotland the day it went into voluntary liquidation?! How ironic.


So, the campaign goes on - there is a gig in two parts this Saturday, 15th December. Fancy a break/excuse to be not Crimble shopping in the hoardes on Saturday afternoon? Well's here's your escape route....


starting outdoors - 1pm at the Castlegate, come along. there'll be a fair few performing artists there. please take something to make a noise with yourself.


Part 2 is at the Tunnels, Carnegies Brae - 8 bands, some djs, all starting at 3pm. some amazing acts have given their time. Come along, have fun, and support the cause.


check out the campaign website for updates/details of whats happening on Saturday and beyond. www.savethelemontree.org (and all donations gratefully accepted there into the campaign funds)


this fight is FAR from over.


Once again, thanks for the messages of support for the Lemon Tree that have been posted. Believe me, every little helps so much.


very best wishes,


Save the Lemon Tree Campaign

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Hmmm - interesting article from the P & J. Looks like APA taking over the Lemon Tree was planned all along. Suprise suprise. What a set up and how nicely handled for the former staff (who were all made jobless just before Christmas). I'm pleased that the Lemon Tree is going to re-open but the way the situation was handled really cheeses me off.




Date : 23.02.08


An Aberdeen arts centre is to rise like a "phoenix from the ashes" and open its doors again this summer.


The Lemon Tree music venue will reopen under new management in June after the city council agreed a deal with Aberdeen Performing Arts (APA).


The charitable trust, set up to manage the Music Hall and His Majesty's Theatre, said it would develop a programme of contemporary and traditional music, comedy, theatre and dance at the West North Street building.


The Press and Journal can reveal that the arts trust won the lease ahead of competition from some of Scotland's biggest music promoters and local venues.


Expressions of interest were received by the council from T in the Park promoters DF Concerts, Glasgow-based venue King Tut's and Aberdeen bar and music venue Cafe Drummonds.


Rival bidders are thought to have been upset that APA appeared to be the council's preferred choice from the outset.


It has emerged that councillors agreed on December 4 last year to instruct officers to explore with APA the possibility of the centre being brought within its operations, hours before the Lemon Tree's previous board voted to enter voluntary liquidation.


It is understood an opposition councillor suggested the approach should be made. But APA was the only bidder to offer a business plan when the committee met last month.


APA plans to end the financial uncertainty which dogged the venue's previous management, using its existing base to reduce costs.


Community groups previously run through the centre will have the opportunity to work with the new management, and former staff can apply for the slimmed down number of new jobs.


A smaller team will run the new operation, with a core of five managers and about 20 staff, reducing the wage bill from more than £500,000 to about £330,000.


Resources management committee convener Kevin Stewart yesterday welcomed the new beginning.


"I'm extremely pleased that the resources committee unanimously supported this deal with APA and to provide a subsidy to ensure the Lemon Tree rises like a phoenix from the ashes," he said.


The council will provide the same £190,000 to the centre as it previously did. They will pay a share of the purchase of its moveable assets - currently with liquidators - with the Scottish Arts Council.


APA chief executive Duncan Hendry said yesterday: "It's our aim to restore the venue as a vibrant centre for arts in Aberdeen.


"We will be doing some limited works to freshen it up, I think it probably needs repainted and some carpeting, and I think we have enough in the budget for that."


Former employees and a member of the Lemon Tree board had criticised the way the venue was allowed to close and reopen with APA as front-runners.


They worried that more money will be spent in the long run when cash could have been spent helping the previous management.

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Hmmm - interesting article from the P & J. Looks like APA taking over the Lemon Tree was planned all along. Suprise suprise. What a set up and how nicely handled for the former staff (who were all made jobless just before Christmas). I'm pleased that the Lemon Tree is going to re-open but the way the situation was handled really cheeses me off.



Ooooooo the politics of it all!


You are totally right about the way it was dealt with but these things do tend to go this way, at least the site wont be turned into flats!

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