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Oldham club with a violent history is shut by owners

A club in Oldham with a turbulent history has closed for good.

Liquid & Envy on Retiro St announced its immediate closure on Friday with employees facing job losses. 

The venue, which was the last remaining club in Oldham, is one of 17 sites to be closed by Rekom UK, a nightlife empire that claims it is struggling with rising running costs. 

Peter Marks, Rekom UK chairman, said: “Following a review of our business, we were unable to reach an agreement with our landlord and have been forced to hand back the lease of Liquid & Envy, Oldham. Sadly, this means the club has closed and our team has been made redundant.

“While we understand the impact this will have on the local late-night economy, it’s important to recognise that this decision follows an extremely difficult period for the sector, due to the combination of the cost-of-living crisis hitting younger generations and students particularly hard, as well as the rising costs including the national minimum wage which particularly affects Hospitality, alongside increased business rates and many other costs of operating.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our guests and teams who have made Liquid & Envy such an iconic venue for a great night out over the years.”

A number of punters and employees took to social media to mourn the loss, with DJ Just Dave calling it “the pinnacle of any North West Nightclub” on Facebook. 

But not everyone is saddened by the news. The club has been haunted by a number of violent incidents over the last few years.

Just last week a video circulated on X (formerly Twitter) showing a four-on-one fight outside the club’s doors. 

And in March 2018, Thomas Hickey, 21, was stabbed repeatedly in the back of the head just after leaving the club premises.

Just three months earlier, a 23-year-old bouncer was stabbed in the neck and a 43-year-old was found unconscious in the club toilets after an attack. 

Rekom UK did not wish to comment on whether the incidents factored into the decision to close the site. 

Liquid & Envy is just one of 17 Rekom venues facing closure across the country. 

Nightlife venues have struggled to bounce back after many took a hit during the pandemic lockdowns.

Nightclubs have taken a 35 per cent loss since 2020, according to a Night Time Industries Association report.

Business consultants Grant Thornton UK LLP confirmed the closures would see a total of 471 redundancies. 

Grant Thornton representative Jon Roden said: “The administrators have had to close 17 sites because the commercial prospects of the affected businesses render them unviable to continue to operate resulting in approximately 471 redundancies. The Grant Thornton team will work with the employees affected to support them through this process.”

 

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