Leading Brighton bar and club bought by London operator


above audio

Leading London bar and events company Mothership Group has acquired Brighton’s long-established seafront nightclub and bar, Audio.

It has bought the venue from John Holland, who has owned it for 30 years, and plans to relaunch it in spring next year.

Mothership Group owns leading east London venues The Book Club, Queen of Hoxton and Stories and hosts around 750 cultural and music events per year at its sites.

Mothership Group commercial director Jon Ross said: “We love Brighton and we’ve been looking for the perfect site here for a while. There’s been a lot of change on the nightlife scene recently, and we’re confident that we can bring a fun, engaging space for Brighton’s locals and visitors alike.

“We’re aware that Brighton is a proud town with a strong sense of identity and we’ll be looking to complement that.”

Talking of his departure, John said: “I’ve come to that point in life where I’ve achieved what I set out to do. I’m lucky enough to have had the opportunity to work on such a great venue for 30 years – a big thank you to each and every customer and employee who made it such a great experience.

“I know I’m leaving the venue in capable hands with Mothership Group. They’ve got both the vision and expertise to take the venue to another level, and I wish them the very best for the future.”

Mothership Group has pledged to ensure the venue remains a well-loved establishment by working closely with staff, promoters and other stakeholders as well as working alongside a panel of local talent and key audiences to co-create ideas on any potential future changes.

For the time being, the venue, which is well-known for its cocktail bar Above Audio (pictured), will operate as is before next spring’s relaunch.

Jon added: “We have some great ideas for the space. However, we won’t be looking to make major changes until the new year.

“Whatever we do, the site will stay as a lynchpin of the nightlife scene in Brighton and we’ll continue to run legendary events, teaming up with world-class musicians, promoters and DJs.”

Mothership Group, which currently turns over £6.5million a year, funded the acquisition by a combination of retained earnings and bank debt. Jon runs the business with operations director Andy Maddocks and creative director Heather Lawton.

Currently with 85 employees, Mothership Group was named one of the top 50 companies to work for in hospitality at Caterer’s Best Employers In Hospitality Awards in both 2013 and 2014, as well as shortlisted for best hospitality group in this year’s London Lifestyle Awards.

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