Just when you thought Oxford’s nightlife scene couldn’t get much bleaker, it has been announced that the building containing Wahoo, the popular club which closed its doors last year, is set to re-open later this month – as Oxford University’s new entrepreneurial centre, The Oxford Foundry.
The Foundry is described on the Said Business School’s website as “an eco-system, offering the opportunity of idea generation, experiential learning, and the development of an entrepreneurial mindset”. Developers say it will be used by around 23,000 students, staff, and alumni across a range of disciplines.
The change comes after a multi-million pound deal in July 2016 between Nuffield College and Christ Church to transform the area around Frideswide Square. Over the summer the building has been transformed from a bar area and comedy club, famed for hosting Glee nights, to a space that describes its core purpose as “creating more entrepreneurial people”.
It is planned that the Foundry will open to entrepreneurs across all of the University in Michaelmas term.
Though Wahoo’s management have been reportedly seeking a new venue for the club, none has yet been found.
The news comes as another setback to Oxford’s nightclub scene, with campaigners claiming that gentrification of the city centre is eroding Oxford’s nightlife and driving music venues out of the city. In August it was announced that the much-loved nightclub Cellar will close in early 2018 to be turned into a retail space, while Lola Lo’s shut in March.