Pop Recs Ltd to close this summer after council sells building

Frankie and the Heartstrings at Pop Recs in Fawcett Street, Sunderland.

Frankie and the Heartstrings at Pop Recs in Fawcett Street, Sunderland.

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The shutters will close on Pop Recs Ltd for the final time on July 1, the Echo can reveal.

As reported in April, the record shop and gig space is having to leave its premises in Fawcett Street, after the council sold the building to developers who will make it into student accommodation.

Frankie & the Heartstrings took over the derelict Tourist Information Office almost exactly two years ago.

The intention was to host a pop-up shop for a fortnight, but it proved so successful that it soon snowballed into a cultural hub, backed by national artists.

Just some of those who’ve performed in the space in that time include No.1 artist James Bay, Franz Ferdinand, The Charlatans, The Vaccines, The Cribs, Badly Drawn Boy, Edwyn Collins and more.

Many, including James Bay and Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess, have publicly spoken of their support for the venture and the Heartstrings’ passion for bringing more culture and live music to the heart of their home town.

National media, including NME, Big Issue and Daily Telegraph, all threw the spotlight on the shop.

As yet, Pop Recs has no new home, but the band is looking at other potential units in the city centre, and say they want to make it bigger and better.

“This isn’t the end of Pop Recs,” said band member Michael McKnight. “We are very much continuing with it, it’s just a case of finding the right place.

“We have some great memories of the store, as I’m sure a lot of people have. The council has been supportive. It’s a good thing for the city centre to have people living in the city centre, as it’s good for the economy. It’s just a shame we have to close.”

Until new premises are found, the store’s stock will go in storage and Michael says they plan to go out on a bang: “We’ll probably have a big event when we close.”