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Thursday, 12 April, 2001, 12:12 GMT 13:12 UK
Home club owners in receivership
Home nightclub, in Leicester Square, London
Home: Owners, Big Beat, run 23 licensed premises
The company behind London's Home nightclub, which was shut in March after allegations of "open" drug dealing, has gone into receivership.

The closure of the club, in Leicester Square, forced its owners to call in receivers on Wednesday.

Home's parent company, Glasgow-based Big Beat, also operates 23 clubs, bars and hotels in Britain and Australia which will be kept open as going concerns.

The Homelands dance music festivals, which Home helps organise, are not in jeopardy.

Big Beat called in receivers two weeks after its flagship venue was closed - a step which had knock-on effects for the whole company.

Drug dealing

"This severely curtailed the trading position of the venue which, given the investment at this location, resulted in cashflow difficulties across the group," a spokesman for the receivers, KPMG Recovery, said.

Big Beat employs 400 people and also runs a Home club in Sydney, the Palm Court Hotel in Aberdeen and several pubs in Glasgow.

An emergency meeting of Westminster City Council last month decided the club should be shut after an undercover police operation found "open and serious Class A drug dealing and usage".

Advice and warnings to the club's managers and staff had not been heeded, according to Scotland Yard.
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The "superclub" opened in September 1999 and has hosted a number of celebrity parties. It had a capacity of more than 2,000 and was heralded as one of the largest in the country when it opened.

The club will continue to plan the musical policy for the three Homelands festivals in England, Scotland and Ireland, which are due to take place this summer.

The events are organised by Mean Fiddler and - foot-and-mouth permitting - are not in doubt.

"It's business as usual for Homelands," Mean Fiddler managing director Melvin Benn said.

"We at the Mean Fiddler will continue to plan the festival and operate the business side in the way that we always have and Homelands has no vulnerability as a result of the difficulties that the Big Beat Group have found themselves in."

Homelands England takes place near Winchester on 26 May, and Homelands Scotland is being held at the Aberdeen Exhibition Conference Centre on 9 June. Details of Homelands Ireland are yet to be announced.

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See also:

30 Mar 01 | Music
Home nightclub shut by police
05 Feb 99 | Entertainment
Discos lose their sparkle
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