Sunderland nightspots hit debt trouble

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THE owner of a Sunderland nightclub has gone into administration after failing to pay its debts.

Luminar operates 77 clubs across the country, including Liquid, in Green Terrace.

However, banks have decided not to extend the time allowed for it to pay back loans taken out.

The company is estimated to be £85million in debt, and last year made a loss of £198million after sales dropped by 19 per cent.

Almost 3,000 staff are employed by Luminar, and now face the possibility of being made redundant, while the long-term future of its establishments is sorted out.

Various market conditions are said to have contributed to Luminar’s decline – including changes to smoking and alcohol licensing laws.

After the Government decided to allow pubs to serve drinks past 11pm, the business reduced the number of premises it ran from 230.

Its target market of 18 to 24 year-olds has also been badly hit with the economic downturn.

Earlier in the year, Luminar received a lifeline when its lenders agreed to waiver the banking covenants it had, to give bosses more time to turn its fortunes around.

And they also attempted to diversify the clubs’ appeal by offering comedy nights and cocktail bars.

But in its statement announcing the decision, the firm said it had no choice but to call in the administrators and suspend trading in its shares immediately.

A Luminar spokesman said: “Despite parent company Luminar being placed in administration, Liquid & Diva, on Green Terrace, in Sunderland, will continue to trade and provide the clubbers of North East the best night out for the foreseeable future.”

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