The owner of The Bridge nightclub has refuted rumours that the club is to close.
Responding to claims made in the Oxford Student, Simon Walker, one of the owners of The Bridge, has made it clear that the club is extremely unlikely to close any time in the next five years.
In an article published yesterday entitled ‘Bridge and Risa to close’ the Oxford Student suggested that five nightclubs, located on a patch of central Oxford land, would be demolished.
It alleged that Christ Church had hatched a plan with Oxford City Council that would see The Bridge, Anuba, Bar Risa, Thirst and Ocean and Collins bulldozed, along with a number of other buildings.
However, Bridge co-owner Simon Walker told Cherwell that the plan would not be happening any time soon.
Walker said, “Our lease is for another three and a half years on this site, so it won’t close in the time of any current students in Oxford. It’s indicated that we will then be given a yearly licence, which will allow us to operate year on year.
“We’re perfectly comfortable with our lease,” he added.
Balreick Srai, owner of student club night promotions company Rock Oxford also said that the club would not be closing soon.
“I don’t think it’s going to be in the timescale of any Oxford students,” he said.
Walker also pointed to the recent lease extension secured by another building on the same piece of land. “Another premises has just been given a two-year extension on a new lease which now takes it through to the middle of 2013.
“Assuming Christ Church honours this lease – and I’m sure they honour all leases – they’re not going to knock down that block and they’re therefore not going to knock us down either.”
The Oxford Student has suggested that Christ Church could terminate the leases early if it could agree compensation with the tenants. However, Walker strongly refuted this, saying that such a move would be “very unusual” and “very difficult.”
“Once a lease is signed it is very difficult to offer a great deal of compensation to end the lease early,” he added.
In the unlikely event that the nightclubs are forced to close in 2013 Walker stated that the Bridge would, in all likelihood, relocate. He said, “We certainly intend to have a Bridge nightclub in Oxford for many years to come.”
Balreick said that he couldn’t see the Bridge or other nightclubs simply closing. “I’m pretty sure people would try to find alternative venues. I can’t see that not happening,” he said.
One Oxford club promoter said that, as the commercial rents currently earn Christ Church considerable sums, there is no real impetus for them to seek to end the leases early.