East Anglia: Luminar night clubs to carry on trading – for now

NIGHTCLUBS run by troubled operator Luminar are expected to carry on trading in the short term while a buyer for the business is sought.

Luminar, which has seen its core market of 18- to 24-year-olds hard hit by rising levels of youth unemployment, warned on Wednesday that it would be forced to call in administrators.

The group, which has around 3,000 employees and 75 venues across the country, including the Liquid and Envy venues in Ipswich and Colchester, Club Brazilia in Bury St Edmunds and Project in Norwich, has run out of time in its battle to stabilise its finances.

Lenders Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds TSB and Barclays threw the company a lifeline in May by agreeing to waive banking covenants and extended the deadline again in August but the period of leniency expired yesterday.

In a last-ditch attempt to secure its future, Luminar last month effectively put itself up for sale, but it said earlier this week that offers had only been received for part of the business and these were not sufficient to generate returns for shareholders.

A spokesman for Luminar said yesterday that the administrators, when formally appointed, would try to sell the company “lock, stock and barrel” and its clubs would continue to trade in the meantime.

Luminar recorded a loss of �198million in the year to February as sales dropped by 19% to �137m.