Shock as Gloucester wedding venue to close
By David Wood | 31st July 2023
A wedding venue in Gloucester is set to close next month after announcing it is entering into liquidation.
The Club at Tuffley Park, which has been run as a Community Interest Company since June 2019, has been hit by the cost of living crisis.
Ross Nichol, who has run the venue for the past four years, said in a message on Facebook: "It's with the heaviest heart that we have to announce that we will be closing down and entering into liquidation. Please note this hasn't been the easiest decision and understand people will be angry, upset and worried.
"We started the club nine months before Covid hit and closed us for 18 months, although we were key in supporting our community during this time. It impacted us financially after investing so much into the building.
"Since then we have continued to invest into the building but we were then faced with the cost of living crisis, energy bills increase, minimum wage rise, rent charges plus 10% turnover fee charged by Gloucester City Council and then this week giving us notice to vacate the premises."
He said: "As a person who built the club from the ground up, this has completely broken me and will take some time to grieve the loss of the club which has been my life for over four years. All the hard work of myself and my amazing team turning it from what it was to what it is today."
Mr Nichol said his hope was that the city council allowed someone who would be willing to take on the legacy of the club and keep it in the community.
"Our official closing date will be 7th August and I urge people not to turn up at the club as there is no further information that can be provided from there and bookings are being honoured up until this date."
He added: "No money has been taken fraudulently nor has there been any intention of malice behind all this. We have tried everything we can to remain open for as long as we have but with bills continuing to rise, it's no longer become possible since being served notice by the city council.
"We will be appointing liquidators as a matter of urgency and will write to customers with their details so they can recoup any losses. Couples due to marry with us, I urge you to contact your wedding insurers as a matter of urgency."
More than 300 comments on Facebook provided a huge array of responses to the announcement that the venue was closing.
There was some sympathy for Ross Nichol but one woman wrote: "It is very hard to be sympathetic when you continued to take people's money knowing full well the business was folding. The amount of stress you have caused people simply because you failed to communicate in an honest and transparent way is palpable."
Another person complained that The Club no longer served the community as it focussed so much on weddings.
She wrote: "The café was closed more than it was open due to weddings....you've got to make money but it completely changed, it's sad really the way it ended up."
This lunchtime, one bride-to-be who has had her wedding cancelled at The Club at Tuffley Park was interviewed on The Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2.
Millie Hooper, who booked her wedding back in February 2022, was due to have her wedding at The Club on September 2 but only found out via the Facebook post on Saturday that the venue was going into liquidation.
She and her partner had paid out around £7,000 for the wedding and she said she was not expecting to get her money back as she had paid via bank card, not credit card.
However, Millie said the community had since rallied round and they had found a new venue, The Whitminster Inn, although she said they would still be "massively out of pocket".
Millie, whose maid of honour got married at the venue last year, told the show: "It was one of those situations you don't think is ever going to happen. At first we were just in shock."
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