DEVELOPERS have joined forces to buy a historic city centre building and bring it back to life following the closure of a popular York nightclub.

York-based Grantside and North Star have formed a joint venture to buy the Grade II listed building in Clifford Street, which was previously home to Kuda nightclub.

A search is underway for a new nightclub operator after Kuda's former owners were placed into administration.

York Press:

The two local developers hope the investment will help rejuvenate York's night-time economy as the city emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 23,282 sq ft building has been acquired from BAE Systems Pension Fund and also houses the York Dungeon which will reopen once Covid restrictions are lifted.

Dating from the late 1800s, the Grade II listed former Institute is a prominent feature on Clifford Street, with its external architecture and internal features a fine example of the the Victorian style.

Grantside founder and chief executive officer, Steve Davis, said: "This is a significant city centre site, well known for its outstanding architecture. As a partnership of York developers, we know the building well, and we are thrilled to have secured this investment.

“Being based in York we understand the important need in York for nightlife venues to attract young people, students and clubbers and regenerate the city’s night-time economy as we recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We aim to bring the venue back to life with this use as the building has amazing potential and will be marketed to suitable venue operators in order to boost the city’s night-time offer.”

Grantside was established in 1993 and has delivered more than £750 million worth of real estate across the UK.

It was recently relaunched with a focus on its approach of honesty, integrity and trust in delivering spaces and places in its developments.

North Star's various major development sites in York include the former Gasworks site on Heworth Green where work has started to transform this large brownfield site into a vibrant new community of more than 600 homes.

In August last year, the Kuda nightclub operator joined a consortium of night-time industry operators to highlight the plight of the evening leisure sector which was facing collapse due to Covid-secure measures. It called on the Government for more support. 

However, in December, the venue's team announced its permanent closure.

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Peter Marks, CEO of Deltic, which ran Kuda in York.

In a statement, Kuda said: “It has been an extremely difficult nine months for Kuda York, with no date for full reopening in sight and no practical support from the Government. 

"Despite Deltic being bought out of administration by REKOM, our lease is still not confirmed for the long-term, so we have taken the difficult decision to hand back the keys.

“Our main priority, at the moment, is to support our employees who have played a huge part in the success of Kuda over the years, creating so many fun and happy memories.

"We would also like to thank our customers for their fantastic support and loyalty – we hope that Kuda will return to entertain the people of York in the future." 

The venue, formerly known as Gallery nightclub, rebranded as Kuda in 2012 following a £750,000 refit.