Unity House future still uncertain

THE owner of Unity House is seeking answers after its tenants said they were "done" with Wakefield after failing in their bid to open a superclub.

Luminar Leisure wanted to open the 6m Oceana superclub in the building, but after securing planning and licensing approval, the company’s plans were blocked by a district judge after an appeal from a rival operator.

Bosses then took their case to the High Court, but when a judge threw out their appeal Luminar chief executive Stephen Thomas told the Express he had finished with Wakefield and had handed the building’s keys to Christian Arden of Cavendish Bars.

But Unity House owner Mark Leatham said he was not happy with the course of events. He said: “We feel what Luminar is doing is out of order. We have taken advice from a leading QC in London as our lease was with Luminar.”

Rent on the building is currently 399,000 per year, rising to around 480,000 next year, and the building’s bar units are now being advertised by property agent Davis Coffer Lyons.

Mr Leatham said: “As a Wakefield person, I think the best option would be to refurbish the former Buzz bar unit and open the hall up as a live music venue. To me, the only glimmer of hope is that Christian Arden mentioned Lottery funding for this building and that may be a way forward.”

Mr Arden confirmed that funding was one line of inquiry he was following, adding: “We are looking at development options, considering everything on the table and trying to get the landlord involved.”