‘A sad demise but right thing to do’

The BEDA awards 2003'The Syndicate - Northern and UK Club of the Year - Mike Nordwind and Sandra Nordwind
The BEDA awards 2003'The Syndicate - Northern and UK Club of the Year - Mike Nordwind and Sandra Nordwind
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THE man who created The Syndicate superclub says he backs the council’s plans to demolish it.

Mike Nordwind admitted it was a sad demise for the club he bought and built into the biggest in the country, but said the nightclub industry was failing.

Mr Nordwind, 68, purchased the former ABC Cinema in 2001 with his wife Sandra.

At its peak, The Syndicate turned over between £5m and £6m a year and was packed with 4,000 people every Saturday night.

But the owner of Fourwinds Leisure Limited, said he was glad he sold it when he did in 2006.

He said: “It was a very successful club and people came from all over the country to go there. It’s a huge loss for Blackpool because it fed the whole area around there.

“That was a fantastic achievement and it’s so sad to hear what’s happened to it, but we sold it at its pinnacle.

“People have been asking us to buy it back but times have changed and so have people’s drinking habits.

“If I owned that building now I would’ve done the same thing because there’s been too many changes.”

During the club’s heyday in the mid-2000s, the owners would welcome David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes to The Syndicate, as well as hire some of the world’s biggest names in dance music.

He added: “When we set about developing it, Sandra designed and revamped the interior. She is heartbroken to see the way it has gone.”

But Mr Nordwind says the industry started to decline when late-night licenses were introduced by the Government and fewer people went clubbing.

He added: “The people to blame are in the supermarkets. Nightclubs don’t sell tins of beans, so why should they sell alcohol?

“People don’t go into clubs anymore because pubs are open a lot later and they don’t want to pay to go somewhere.”

The historic site, which opened in 1895 as the Empire Theatre, was transformed throughout the 20th Century into the Hippodrome Theatre and later the ABC Cinema.

The venue famously played host to The Beatles and Mr Nordwind has fond memories from when he first embarked on revamping the cinema to turn it into The Syndicate.

He added: “When we dug down into the orchestra pit we found old programmes, a Beatles poster and Lennon and McCartney had scratched their names into the tiles.

“There was a special lighting desk which had been left down there in full working order and we donated that to a recording museum in London - it was amazing down there.”

But the couple also faced a number of battles with the police during their ownership and were shut down for six weeks in 2005 because of alleged violence at the club.

This was the final straw for Mr Nordwind, who claims he knew when they re-opened their days were numbered because the authorities were unhappy with the club.

He added: “We had some problems because 4,000 people were coming out onto the streets in the morning and the police weren’t happy about that, so we closed.

“They were very happy and memorable days and we miss the buzz.

“But we aren’t dead yet and we’ll see what the future holds.”