Club boss: "I'm struggling to keep open my nightclubs"

Club boss:

Club boss: "I'm struggling to keep open my nightclubs"

First published in Local news

A NIGHTCLUB boss has revealed he could rent out all his venues to new operators if businesses came forward with the right deal.

Richard Shea, 44, of Long Meadows, Brentwood, who owns five premises in Southend and still runs three of them, has told of the difficulty of turning a profit in the nightclub industry with increased competition and the recession.

The businessman has shut down three companies with combined debts of £2.5million over the past three years.

Mr Shea, who has property in Southend and Brentwood, owns the freehold of Dick de Vignes club in Warrior Square, which is run by another company and Churchills in Tylers Avenue, Southend, but has recently rented it out to another operator.

He still owns and runs Mayhem in Warrior Square, Mansion in Elmer Approach and Tiger Lilly bar in Leigh Road, Leigh.

He said: “It is a very hard business. It is so hard to get a successful club going nowadays it is really really hard. I have just rented out Churchills. We were running it but could not make it work now someone else has come in to see if they can make it work better.

“Bars all over England have been closing during the recession, so we are doing better than that and are still working at it with the clubs and making them work. But there are a lot in the town. If someone came forwarded and wanted to take on the other clubs I would consider it.”

Mr Shea’s main company Shea Properties, which has had a portfolio worth £25million, went into receivership in November 2010.

Tiger Tilly is the most at risk asset it owns as it was put up as security for an undisclosed loan the company took out from businessman Robert Stevens, 53, of Spareleaze Hill, Loughton, last September, with a further £153,000 borrowed against it last month.

Since 2010 Mr Shea has liquidated four limited companies, previously involved in running Mayhem, Storm (now Mansion), Churchills and the now closed Escape in Colchester, which owed a combined total of £4.1million.

This included:

*£36,000 to West Ham United Football Club owed by Mayhem

*£463,000 to the tax man

*£86,000 to Southend Council

*£27,000 to Colchester Council

*£2million to himself and another business he ran

*£1million to the Bank of Scotland

*Around £600,000 to other creditors, including the University of Essex Students’ Union, owed by Storm.

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