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Maidenhead nightclub 'offered space' in Nicholsons development

MAIDENHEAD 132886-4

Smokeys nightclub, in Nicholson Lane

A Maidenhead nightclub has been offered space in the new Nicholsons Centre redevelopment, a meeting heard this week.

A Maidenhead Town Forum meeting yesterday (Wednesday) heard from Barbara Richardson, the managing director of the RBWM Property Company, which is helping to carry out a number of regeneration programmes in the town. 

Ms Richardson was asked by Councillor Gurch Singh (Lib Dem, St Mary's) whether the Smokeys nightclub, in Nicholson Lane, had been saved from closure after ongoing fears that it would have to shut for good once the Nicholsons work gets underway.

Plans have been approved to redevelop the Nicholsons but Smokeys - which has been shut for more than a year during the pandemic - was due to pay the price as no suitable home was thought to have been found for it. 

But this week's meeting learned that it has been 'offered space' within the ground floor of the proposed new multi-storey car park in Broadway, which is owned by the Windsor and Maidenhead council. 

The Nicholsons developer - Denhead S.A.R.L - has offered to cover the capital cost of fitting out the new club. 

Denhead S.A.R.L is a collaboration between regeneration specialists Areli Real Estate and Tikehau Capital, which bought the centre in 2018. 

However, Ms Richardson said that an agreement is yet to be reached regarding whether the nightclub is able to house a smoking area, with the possibility of a 'winter garden' being floated by the council, in conversation with the licensing authority. 

She told councillors that a suitable smoking area was an area of particular importance for the owners of Smokeys. 

Another outstanding agreement relates to how the space actually looks, Ms Richardson added. 

"We are working our way through those at the moment. Everything else, we seemed to have ticked the boxes," she said. 

"They [the nightclub] have been offered some space within the ground floor of the car park on Broadway, as part of the council's own site, which is on a like-for-like space basis on a like-for-like rent basis.

"The developer has also offered to cover the capital cost of fitting out that space on the same specification as they currently have, in principle, obviously to be agreed, but in principle. All of that has been agreed."

Writing on Facebook on Monday, Smokeys said that it would be fighting the potential use of compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) in court, after powers were agreed by councillors for developers to use them if necessary. 

A CPO forces homeowners to sell up if their property obstructs a regeneration project. 

Also discussed at the meeting were the various regeneration schemes across Maidenhead. Read more on this here. 

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