Disillusioned' boss to sell Carnegies' clubs

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by Tom Stainer One of Scotland's best-known independent nightclub operators is to exit the business after becoming "disillusioned" by high-profile...

by Tom Stainer One of Scotland's best-known independent nightclub operators is to exit the business after becoming "disillusioned" by high-profile rows with police and licensing boards. Carnegies' boss Daso Nicholas is selling up his six remaining venues for almost £4.5m after 20 years as one of the highest profile operators north of the border. The decision comes after the company was forced to shut its Bonkers nightclub on Hope Street, in Glasgow, after police complaints to the licensing board about disorder in and around the venue. Privilege, another high-profile Carnegies' venue, was closed in March this year, after police again told the licensing board that the nightclub was a public nuisance and a threat to public safety. Following the closures, Nicholas sold off the Bonkers and Privilege sites and also disposed of his Babylon venue in Kirkintilloch and the Majestic venue in Motherwell. In addition, property agent Christie & Co, has been instructed to market Carnegies' remaining sites in Ayr, Edinburgh, Greenock, Kilmarnock and Paisley. Carnegies will also dispose of its successful Fouquets venue in Renfield Street, Glasgow. Carol Nicholas, Daso's wife and campaigns director for the company, explained: "The nightclub and bar industry in Scotland has changed hugely over the past few years and although there is obviously still large amounts of money to be made within the trade, my husband and myself have decided we no longer wish to be involved in the nightclub industry in Scotland. "We have a number of other interests outside the club/bar trade and spend a lot of time out of the country. All of this has had a bearing on our decision to sell the majority of our leisure estate." Meanwhile, the new owner of the Bonkers site in Hope Street, Glasgow, is attempting to apply for a new licence for the site. The Global Gaming Corporation bought the venue several months ago. First Leisure to open beach bar' First Leisure is to re-open its beleaguered Eros/Elite site as a concert venue/nightclub in Edinburgh. It has also acquired control of the former Brannigans site, next door to the venue in the Fountain Park leisure complex, which it plans to open as a "beach bar". Eros/Elite closed voluntarily in March after a police report condemned its operation and catalogued horrific reports of violence. The former Brannigans site was closed in January 2003 after Mustard Leisure ­ which bought the site from First Leisure ­ went into receivership.

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