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Club boss blasts shutdown

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By Charles Fletcher
Dumfries and West
Club boss blasts shutdown

COVID has killed the groove on the dance floors of Dumfries as new regulations come into force.

Escalating omicron cases across the country have forced the Scottish Government to shut down nightclubs for at least three weeks.

It’s the latest blow to the hospitality and leisure business, already suffering from earlier lockdowns and stay home orders.

The manager of Chancers Nightclub is scathing of the decision.

“If you’re running a business you make decisions when everything is in place,” said Brian Armstrong.

“Clearly the Scottish Government hasn’t thought this through.

“They’ve closed us down without first securing funding support from the UK Government to back them up.”

Mr Armstrong, who has just completed a refurbishment of the popular venue, said it is just not feasible to partially open with table service replacing the dance floor.

He added: “You’d be lucky to break even doing that.

“It’s just not worth it.”

The temporary closure measures came into effect in Scotland on Boxing Day and nightclubs are to remain closed until at least January 17. Brian said the hospitality business in Dumfries is already being hit by people crossing the border to Carlisle or Newcastle for a night out or a weekend away.

“That’s a historical hit for us,” he told this newspaper.

“But the different regulations in England and Scotland are having a severe impact.

“The politicians in Edinburgh have had their Christmas, but we’ve hardly had any sleep because of their decisions.”

Meanwhile, fellow nightspot The Venue has written on its website: “We will update you as soon as we have a reopening date.

“We hope to see you all again after that.”

The Scottish Government has allocated £375 million in business support to help firms get back on their feet in the new year.

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