A new private equity fund has been set up with the intention of buying up club venues and late-licence bars across England, with a view to either revamping and rebranding the venues to make them more successful businesses, or to redevelop clubbing properties into retail and residential units.
The fund has been co-founded by 25 year old Emyr Hughes who reckons that a struggling clubbing market, which has felt the impact of the UK’s wider economic slump, provides an opportunity for those investing in property.
With a grand plan to revitalise the flagging club businesses he acquires by, erm, getting ‘X-Factor’ rejects to do PAs, Hughes told the Financial Times: “Clubbing is about escapism and people are being a lot savvier these days about how they spend their money to escape from normal life. If you want custom you need to provide something people are prepared to pay for, like getting one of the ‘X-Factor’ contestants to come and do a live act”.
Yeah, I think Hughes’ EMCO fund might be doing more of that ‘shut it down and convert to flats’ thing than the ‘relaunch this place as a mecca of late night entertainment’ thing, but who knows?