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Winelodge in Oulton Broad closes

PUBLISHED: 11:00 13 February 2015 | UPDATED: 19:46 14 February 2015

The Winelodge and Escape nightclub in Oulton Broad plan to extend licensing hours which have caused Police concerns.

The Winelodge and Escape nightclub in Oulton Broad plan to extend licensing hours which have caused Police concerns.

Archant © 2013

Winelodge in Oulton Broad has closed after its owner took the “difficult decision” to shut the nightclub due to the difficult economic climate.

Owner David Pickess said it was “with great sadness” that the venue in Bridge Road would have to close, saying: “Unfortunately due to the current economic climate, high costs of running both buildings we have had to make several cutbacks recently.

“It has been a quiet start to the year, so therefore have had to make the necessary decision to close Winelodge Oulton Broad.”

The decision follows the closure of Winelodge’s Victoria Terrace premises at Christmas - but Mr Pickess said all staff affected have been offered employment at other parts of the business, including Bar and Canteen and Vanity Nightclub, in Norwich, to avoid job losses.

The Oulton Broad Hotel is also not affected by the closure.

Mr Pickess said: “The Winelodge brand has been part of the town since 2005 and it is with great sadness we are now closing both venues.

“From celebrity nights including Norwich City Legends and Spurs and England Legend Paul Gascoigne, boat parties, live music and celebration parties in our function room, it’s been a fantastic time.

“It has been a pleasure to provide several venues for people to enjoy over the years. I personally would like to say a huge thank you to all our customers for their continued support.”

However residents who live nearby say the noise from the nightclub has affected them over the past five years.

Alex Patterson, 65, a resident of Mill House, which is directly opposite Winelodge, said: “All we have had in the last five years every Thursday, Friday and Saturday are police blocking the road, ambulances helping people who have consumed too much alcohol and the noise and behaviour that comes with it.

“Residents all the way down Bridge Road say they have seen sick and urine and their properties have been devalued because of that.

“Why did the licensing people at the council approve an 800 people venue in the middle of residential and tourist area in the first place?”

Penny Forrest, who owns Mill House, added: “For now at least the residents of Bridge Road can have some peace at the weekend and maybe the area can be cleaned of the cigarette ends, broken glass and general rubbish that has accumulated in our streets. We sincerely hope that Waveney District Council licencing department ensures it stays that way.

“I would like to hope that WDC will see this latest closure as a golden opportunity to right past mistakes, change the current premises licence and assist a future developer to create a more innovative and sustainable business within the premises that benefits Oulton Broad’s community.”

What do you think about Winelodge’s closure? Write, giving your full contact details, to: Journal Postbox, 147 London Road North, Lowestoft NR32 1NB or email andrew.papworth@archant.co.uk


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