AN INDEPENDENT music venue has announced it will close its doors later this year.

The announcement that Talking Heads will shut from September comes just months after another city centre venue also announced its future was uncertain.

In April managers at the Stage Door on West Marlands Road said the establishment was in jeopardy – and could shut by the end of the year.

Now music lovers have voiced their their sadness at the Talking Heads closure.

Ricky Bates – operator of The Joiners – said he was “completely gutted”.

He added: “That’s where I learnt my trade. It’s hugely disappointing. It’s not a bad venue. It’s got a really good lights, great stage and the people running it are running it for the right reasons.”

He cited business rates as one of the main hurdles for independent venues – and also called for more support from Arts Council England.

Taking to social media, he said independent venues needed help from national funding bodies and said: “It makes no sense for outlets such as Arts Council England to stand by and watch this happen. Our applications are constantly rejected but yet places and culture deemed worthy of protection by the higher ups continue to flourish with benefits such as tax breaks. Music is art.”

Rob Davies said: “The people of Southampton just didn’t support this venue, and it’s a real shame because it had so much to offer.”

Samantha Denton-Jones added: “This can’t be. So many memories, especially the old Portswood venue. Such a shame guys, you have worked so hard to keep it going.”

Jason Soper said: “Genuinely gutted. For myself, I love that venue, and the old one. But the bigger picture, I’m gutted for the staff and also the awesome bands that would and could have played there in future too.

City culture boss Councillor Satvir Kaur said: “There’s definitely merit in cultural venues coming together. I’m happy to meet them. There’s a variety of venues across the city. If they wanted to have a conversation about what they need and what sort of outcomes they are looking for I’m more than happy to work with them and with ACE to see what help they need.”

The Talking Heads moved from Portswood Road to The Polygon in January 2016.

A statement on social media from the Talking Heads team said: “We can confirm that the Talking Heads venue will be closing at the end of September this year. The team will still be running The 1865 venue.”

The venue’s management did not respond to a request for a comment.