Manchester's Factory Records founder travels to Ukraine to help war effort

12032022 - Alan Erasmus - Granada
Credit: ITV Granada

The co-founder of Manchester's iconic Factory Records has travelled to Ukraine to offer humanitarian help.

Alan Erasmus, 72, set off for Poland on 2 March before making his way into Western Ukraine. Before his departure, Erasmus wrote a message to Haçienda DJ and journalist Dave Haslam in which he said: ''I'm not having this, I’ve fought bullies of one kind or another all my life, Putin is no different.

“This is a very, very, very important moment in history Dave, it cannot be lost.”

It's not the first time Erasmus has run towards danger.

Friends have described how he also went to Liberia when the west African country was stricken by a deadly outbreak of the ebola virus.

This time the actor is helping out in Ukranian city of Lviv, which is located just 50 miles from the Polish border. The area has, so far, been untouched by Russian attacks and has become a safe haven for many of those fleeing the eastern part of the country.

Speaking to Granada Reports from inside Ukraine, Erasmas said:

''It was a private, personal thing to go across, with the purpose of helping more in a humanitarian sense, because I'm 72.

''If it came to it I could pick up a kalashnikov to save my life and other people's lives - if civilians were threatened - but that wasn't my intention.'' 

Erasmus famously co-founded Factory Records, the indie record label, alongside the late Granada presenter Tony Wilson in 1978.

The label is credited with playing a key part in the city’s transformation from a decaying former industrial powerhouse to a beacon of art and culture. Mr Erasmus is now hoping to host a night of music when he returns to Manchester to raise money for those affected by the war in Ukraine.