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Business as usual despite tax hearing

Basil Newby in front of the Flamingo Club
Basil Newby in front of the Flamingo Club

Blackpool entrepreneur Basil Newby says it’s business as usual at his nightclubs despite an impending hearing over finances.

Funny Girls Ltd, the company run by Mr Newby and which owns popular venues Funny Girls and the New Flamingo, is set for a court date in London on August 8 over proceedings brought by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Mr Newby’s company was facing the possibility of a winding up order over an unpaid tax bill to the HMRC.

But Mr Newby says an agreement has been reached between the company and HMRC which will mean that the business will continue trading.

Some customers had heard about the court date and feared the clubs, Funny Girls on Dickson Road and the Flamingo Club in Queen Street, might be forced to close.

But representatives of Mr Newby say such fears are unfounded and the clubs will continue to operate as usual.

A spokesman at Turner Parkinson LLP, the company’s solicitors said: “The bill is to be paid as part of a re-finance package.

“It had already been agreed between the company and HMRC that a winding-up order would not be sought at the hearing.”

Funny Girls Ltd was established in 1995 and Mr Newby’s clubs have been among the most popular and well known in the resort.

But it has been a difficult time for Mr Newby in recent weeks.

Last month he announced he would be appealing after being ordered to close the doors of the Flamingo Club for a month after Blackpool Council’s licensing panel said its management was ‘chaotic’.

Police said Flamingo stayed open beyond its licenced hours, did not have enough door staff and served drinks nine minutes after its bars should have closed.

However, the doors remain open pending the appeal.