It is Wolverhampton’s biggest nightclub and attracted thousands of revellers each week in its heyday before its sad demise. But now, a year after closing its doors, it has emerged that talks of a takeover deal for Oceana are progressing with plans to reopen the site before the end of the year.
If the move goes ahead the new buyer would refurbish the venue and attempt to build a new reputation as one of the city’s top nightspots without using promotions such as cut-price drinks.
Mike Maguire, of Colliers Estate Agents, which is handling the takeover said: “We have got interest from a private investor to re-open it as a nightclub and carry out a complete refurbishment.
“It would not be similar to the old Oceana club – it would be a lot better. It would be completely upgraded and they would not be selling discount drinks and alcopops for £1 a bottle.
“It is a private investor who we cannot name at the moment but we are currently in legal negotiations. Once they are sorted we should be able to move forward and there is a timescale for opening by the end of the year.”
The news has been hailed as a boost for the city that could revitalise the city’s nightlife.
Kim Gilmour, manager of city centre company WV One, said: “We are very pleased that a new club could be on the cards.
“It will support the night-time economy and give people in the city more choice of where they can go.
“Some of the other pubs and clubs have upped their game and tried to offer something for younger people but it always great to have new venues and more reasons for people to come into Wolverhampton at night.”
Wolverhampton City Council’s regeneration chief Peter Bilson added: “The club is a key landmark site which is in a great location right next to the tram terminus and it has supported the evening economy in the city for a number of years.
“It is excellent news that there is a potential new taker and it will enhance the city’s entertainment offer.”
The news has also been welcomed by city students.
Dan Batchelor, president of the University of Wolverhampton Students’ Union said: “I think that Oceana potentially re-opening would be good news for Wolverhampton as a whole, creating jobs and also increasing the value of the city as a place for young people to come for a night out.”
The club, which also used to be known as Atlantis, shut on March 11 last year with the loss of 75 jobs after owners Luminar went into administration with debts of £140 million.
The firm was hit hard by rising unemployment among 18-24-year-olds who make up its key customer age group.
While it was open a number of celebrities including JLS and stars of soaps including Hollyoaks appeared at the venue.
At the time of its closure the club’s manager Mark Hickey said: “I can hand on heart say that this decision was not taken lightly and since going into administration in November 2011 we have done everything possible to keep the club alive.
“I was unsure exactly what Wolves would be able to offer me but 99.9 per cent of people around here have been fantastic to have as customers and friends.”