MILLIONS of pounds will be ploughed into Sunderland’s biggest nightspot in a bid to reinvigorate its four venues.
The Point, in Holmeside, opened to much fanfare in September 2005 after a mammoth £5million renovation of the former ABC cinema site.
But in recent years, like many city centre venues, it has suffered from a decline in Sunderland’s night-time economy.
Now it has been taken over by Amazing Leisure, which promises to bring money, events and jobs to the four venues which make up The Point: Union nightclub and Arizona, Purple and Velvet Lounge bars.
“We want to make The Point a destination venue, to regenerate, to reinvigorate and rejuvenate it to bring it back to its glory,” said Zed Malik, marketing, promotions and events manager.
“I started here three weeks ago and people are shocked when I say I want people from Newcastle to come here instead of people from Sunderland going through there, but I think we can do it. This venue has massive potential.”
As well as a £2million renovation of the club and bars, the new owners plan to start staging big-name music events, alongside high-profile personal appearances and a comedy club.
Zed said: “We already have a student night on a Monday called Frat House which is popular and have started running a dirty house night once a month which went really well.
“The American theme in Arizona also works.
“But we’re planning on a lot more events covering lots of different genres of music.
“We want to cater for the 18 to 45 market so that there is something for everyone.”Arizona and Purple Bar will also start serving food in the next six weeks with different menus to reflect the bars’ different themes. Amazing Leisure managing director Ahmed Khan said: “We are already a significant employer and have over 50 staff working at this venue and have taken on a further 20.
“We plan to take on a further 100 over the year and all our staff are selected locally.
“We are also planning to give unemployed people apprenticeship opportunities.
“We see Sunderland as both an opportunity and a challenge and look forward to working with all local businesses and suppliers to promote a unique city centre offering.
“Sunderland loses a large amount of patrons who go to Newcastle and we are keen to offer these customers great entertainment and hospitality and bring them back to Sunderland.”