A newly formed charity is among businesses that have been eyeing up the derelict Plymouth nightspot where Bono, Angus Young and Joe Strummer once trod the boards and clubbers got sweaty on the dancefloor.
Hope for Homeless South West has sent representatives to tour the 18,960sq ft, double storey, former nightclub above shops in Mayflower Street.
It is considering the space as a community centre containing a café, shop, online radio station, children’s play area, hair salon, gym, food bank, lounge and meeting rooms, including one for veterans, and possibly emergency accommodation with staff on site.
The building, which has been disused for a decade and is now in a dilapidated state, was once a star in Plymouth’s night time entertainment firmament.
Going under many names including the Fiesta Suite, Powerhouse, Candy Store, Embassy Rock Bar, Zanzibar and K2 it staged rock gigs, discos, ballroom dancing, and even housed a bowling alley at one time.
In the 1970s and 1980s it was a leading gig venue and attracted bands such as The Clash, U2, AC/DC, the Stranglers, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden, King Kurt and a 2 Tone package featuring the Specials, the Selector and Madness.
As the glory days of rock and roll gave way to the dance-oriented 1990s the club was split into two dance floors with a VIP lounge up above. It was last used to stage boxing matches.
The building, along with the entire block it is in, is owned by a London-based company but is being marketed for rent and has attracted businesses in recent years including a nightclub owner and a gym operator, but both came to nothing.
However, now the new Hope for Homeless South West charity, which also runs the Garage Cafe project in Union Street, is exploring the former nightclub as one of three sites it is considering for a community centre aimed at families, veterans, lonely and vulnerable people, and with staff trained in mental health and wellbeing.
There could be training facilities and business mentoring too, and space for arts and crafts and cookery.
A spokesman said: “We are looking for a major site in the city to work with homeless people and create a facility for people to use around mental health, and for veterans too.”
Business Live’s South West Business Reporter is William Telford. William has more than a decade’s experience reporting on the business scene in Plymouth and the South West. He is based in Plymouth but covers the entire region.
Stay in touch: BusinessLive newsletters have been re-designed to make them even better. We send morning bulletins straight to your inbox on the latest news, views and opinion in the South West. Get our breaking news alerts and weekly sector reviews too. Sign up now – it’s free and it only takes a minute. To sign up for Business Live’s daily newsletters click here
And visit the Business Live South West LinkedIn page here
A document produced by the charity said: “Everyone deserves a second chance in life. We can help them achieve this and support them through it.”
The Garage Café, in Union Street, has now been supporting the homeless people of Plymouth for the past two years by providing hot meals, takeaways, everyday clothing, bedding, and toiletries.
Need Your Help Today. Your $1 can change life.