Boost for Perth nightclubs as owner wins Closure Fund appeal


John Bryden has won his appeal to the Scottish Government to access Nightclub Closure Fund support for his venues, The Loft, The Ice Factory and That Bar Lounge in Perth.

Long-time owner Mr Bryden thanked the Scottish Government for approving the five-figure compensation following the last-minute cancellation of sell-out Hogmanay parties and the January shut-down which was triggered by the Omicron variant.

“It’s fantastic news coming hard on the heels of the removal of the need for vaccine passports confirmed earlier this week,” said Mr Bryden.

“I’m delighted the review has been successful. We were being called a hybrid but I suspect there was a misunderstanding over the nature of businesses which have been an integral part of the Perth social scene for more than 20 years.

“We are grateful to Perth and Kinross Council, the Licensing Board, politicians of various hues, Vicki Unite at the Perthshire Chamber of Commerce and the Night Time Industries Association for all their backing.  We have endured a lot of anxiety over the last few weeks but now we are able to look forward with staff jobs secured.

“It was vital to get this lifeline payment as we look forward to Easter, when hopefully things will have returned to something like normal.”

Head of operations Craig Fraser is hopeful the award-winning nightclubs can turn back the clock to the pre-pandemic era. “The industry has come through a very tough time over the last two years and I feel sorry for teenagers and the early 20s in particular, who have missed out on so much at an important time of their lives,” he said.

“Their freedom has been severely restricted and obviously there is pent-up demand for getting out and about to events.  That was underlined by the rapid sell-out of 600 tickets for Saturday’s appearance by Scots dj Meladee at The Ice Factory.”

Mr Fraser revealed That Bar Lounge had applied for planning consent to retain the covered area outside the South Street premises.  “We are looking to extend the temporary permission which runs out later this month” he explained and added,  “It is shaping-up as a big year to mark our 25th anniversary. Hopefully the application will be successful as we prepare to welcome returning tourists as well as locals.  The covered area has been vital to us and I’d like to think the council will look favourably on our application as we try to rebuild from the economic devastation caused by the pandemic.”

Category: Bar & Pub, News
Tags: Craig Fraser, John Bryden, nightclub closure fund, That Bar, The Ice Factory, The Loft