IT has a thriving student population and a hub of popular bars and pubs - yet Chichester has become one of the few university cities without a nightclub.
Now campaign groups, students and DJs across the area are calling for action after the shock closure of Thursdays in Drayton Lane, Oving.
The nightclub closed without warning last Monday (June 22), prompting a flurry of activity on social media as thousands took to Facebook and Twitter to express their views.
The club, which declined to comment, told customers ‘the landlords wanted their building back’.
Now a group has been set up to salvage Chichester’s nightlife. A spokesman for ‘Chichester Nightlife’ said the online group was created as a platform for people to discuss ways forward, and to call on the owner of Thursdays to ‘reconsider the decision’.
“We need an intelligent discussion as to remove this facility in it’s entirety from Chichester is unacceptable on many levels.
“Many businesses will suffer due to the sudden closure of Thursdays and there will be a major knock on effect over the coming months.
“We do have to look to the future and a city without a late night venue does not satisfy the criteria for a vibrant modern city in 2015, especially a university city.
“Bringing a large chain would be wrong, Chichester needs to maintain it’s unique qualities. It is about good business and working together to enhance our city, not about excluding people and forcing them to look elsewhere.”
Rumours have also been circulating online this week that the club Moka, based in Crawley, is set to take over the Oving venue, though the club has yet to deny or confirm the speculation.
Jodie Hope is the president of the Students’ Union at the University of Chichester. She said: “The closure of Thursdays Night Club has come as a shock and disappointment to students of the university, both past and present, as it was an extremely popular venue.
“Whilst there are many alternative venues in and around Chichester that students may continue to enjoy, including the Students’ Union bar, there are some concerns over the impact the closure may have on both the economy and range of nightlife on offer in the town.”
DJ Richard Earnshaw said: “I’m left wondering what on earth is there for people to do in Chichester these days?
“It saddens me that the draconian nature of the licensing/entertainment situation in Chichester is suppressive.
“I moved to Chichester from London in 1997. It used to be vibrant place, there was a buzz.”
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