Council buys nightclub

NORTH Somerset Council has stumped up its share of �930,000 to buy a nightclub.

NORTH Somerset Council has stumped up its share of �930,000 to buy a nightclub.

The Weston & Somerset Mercury can reveal that the authority's joint bid has been accepted for The Sands.

As part of a venture with developer Kilmartin, the council has successfully beaten off stiff competition from businesses and organisations to secure the purchase.

Only last month, current club co-owner Cam Mu told the Mercury that 'never in a million years' would he sell the site for the �950,000 it was being offered at on the Internet.

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Mr Mu said the marketing of the Weston venue and the adjacent car park was purely an exercise to see how much his business is worth and he would decline any offers of �950,000.

But now he has accepted a figure of �930,000 for the Beach Road site.

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Joint bidder Kilmartin is one of the companies currently tendering to become the company behind a massive Dolphin Square redevelopment project.

Last year, North Somerset Council said it would consider compulsorily purchasing properties it needed to progress with the scheme. The Sands is currently one of only two freehold properties in that area not under the control of Kilmartin.

North Somerset Council's executive member responsible for property, Tony Lake, said: "The acquirement of this property would assist both Kilmartin and the council with the regeneration project.

"It would be of benefit for the site to be in our possession."

The Mercury understands The Sands could be demolished in the long-term as part of the Dolphin Square rebuild.

However, it is unclear whether the venue will continue to be run as a nightclub until then.

North Somerset Council is currently exploring ways to make money from the site in the short-term because the successful developer for the project is not expected to be revealed until the summer.

The Weston & Somerset Mercury tried to contact both Kilmartin and Cam Mu, but neither wished to comment.

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