ONE of Portsmouth’s oldest nightclubs could be turned into flats for foreign students.
Plans have been lodged with the council to close Scandals in Hampshire Terrace and the language school above it, and put in 22 bedrooms and two studio flats.
Nourreddine Mansour, who owns both the club and language school, says ‘the time has now come’ for the ‘valuable space’ to be used by someone else.
LSI Portsmouth is looking to lease the whole property so it can put in beds for foreign students on its language courses.
Geoff Priestley, manager of Wedgewood Rooms, in Albert Road, Southsea, said his staff enjoy nights out at Scandals.
He said: ‘It’s always a shame when something popular and has been open for a long period of time closes down for whatever reason.
With a vibrant night life, comes a vibrant local economy, and if you start closing it down then it’s going to have an impact on the local economy.Geoff Priestley, manager of Wedgewood Rooms
‘Scandals has been going for donkey’s years.
‘With a vibrant night life, comes a vibrant local economy and if you start closing it down then it’s going to have an impact on the local economy.’
Portsmouth Lib Dem culture spokesman, Councillor Lee Hunt, said it was a sign of the times.
He said: ‘Nightclubs seem to be on the way out, I must admit.
‘I don’t know what people will do for entertainment in the future, but that trade seems to be in decline.
‘Yet people like nightclubs and want to go to them, especially the ones that are well run and have got recognition.
‘It would be a shame to see another one go under.’
In a statement to the council, Mr Mansour said: ‘I have owned the building for many years now and have enjoyed my time there.
‘However, the time has now come to allow someone else to make good use of this valuable space.
‘I very much feel that the application that has been submitted is an excellent use of the building and I am very happy that it will be used in this way.
‘Having also run a language school for many years, I very much understand the demand for high quality accommodation for the students.
‘LSI Portsmouth, which will be occupying the building, is a prosperous establishment which brings substantial income and employment to the city of Portsmouth.’
Andrew Edwards, LSI Portsmouth principal, said: ‘These students bring considerable income into the city and spend money on local amenities and services.
‘They do not come with cars, but all walk to school.
‘The house will have a live-in house manager to make sure the house runs professionally and that there are no disturbances to the local community.’