Venue chief to quit as Dean’s hit by losses

Nellie Dean's on Blackpool Promenade and (below) Stephen Pierre.
Nellie Dean's on Blackpool Promenade and (below) Stephen Pierre.
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High profile bar operator Stephen Pierre is to pull out of Nellie Dean’s on The Promenade later this month.

His company Utopia Music will continue to run the Galleon Bar in Abingdon Street but has decided not to renew the lease on Nellie Dean’s.

Stephen Pierre

Stephen Pierre

Mr Pierre has blamed a downturn in seasonal trade, the prospects of an Early Morning Alcohol Restriction Order and the bad publicity from the 999 What’s Your Emergency TV show.

He said: “I became the leaseholder of this once popular promenade fun bar in April 2011, which until then had been a closed venue which means it did not operate during the winter months.

“At the time the promenade was closed to traffic due to the regeneration works and renewal of the tram tracks.

“With support from Thwaites Brewery which is the freeholders we focused on heavy marketing with The Gazette along with radio advertising and a huge amount of publicity material distributed to many of the resort’s hotels and guest houses. Regretfully our first season we incurred huge losses due to our entertainment costs of ‘Summer Variety 2011’ which closed much earlier than anticipated.

“This show featured some of the finest entertainers on the circuit such as Benidorm TV regular Crissy Rock and BBC Star For a Night runner up Martin Gregory Lambert.

“Our biggest overhead has proved to be business rates of £25,000 payable annually. An appeal was originally logged by Thwaites Brewery in November 2010 when the tramway renewal works first commenced and we have subsequently been chasing a rating appeal since 2011.”

Mr Pierre said Nellie Dean’s previous operators were forced to close in November 2010 as they were unable to continue operating during the winter months with business rates payable in the region of £475.00 per week. 
He said: “It is fair to point out that business rates are set by the Valuation Office of central government and not the local authority. 
He added: “Licensed premises and the economic world as a whole have changed hugely since the last time business rates were set in April 2008 this needs to be reflective.”

‘Rethink is needed over business rates for bars’

Mr Pierre said Nellie Dean’s previous operators were forced to close in November 2010 as they were unable to continue operating during the winter months with business rates payable in the region of £475.00 per week.

He said: “It is fair to point out that business rates are set by the Valuation Office of central government and not the local authority.

“Licensed premises and the economic world as a whole have changed hugely since the last time business rates were set in April 2008 this needs to be reflective.”

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