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SkyDome Sale To Northern Leisure

SkyDome Coventry logoPart of the Rank Group’s 40 million SkyDome Coventry leisure and entertainment complex has been sold to nightclub company Northern Leisure.

Northern Leisure has paid around 150 million to buy Rank Entertainment which has four businesses – Jumpin Jaks, Bonds, Ikon and Diva - at SkyDome which opens this Friday.

The sale, which will take a month to complete, will mean that Rank will have only the nine-screen Odeon and the new 4,000 seater sports and entertainment Arena which is due to come on stream at the SkyDome complex later this year.

The complex will employ around 485 people when it is fully complete but Rank today said that jobs were not at risk when the take-over goes through.

Rank spokesman Ron Hanlon said:

"If the sale goes through there will be no implication for local employment as Northern Leisure will have similar staffing requirements. Equally, Northern Leisure are committed to offering the high level of entertainment originally planned for our customers."

Friday’s opening night is not affected and the public will not notice any direct change as a result of the sale.

Northern Leisure is buying 37 nightclubs, nine Jumpin Jaks, six Hotshots and three other leisure outlets which will jump its number of venues from 70 to 125.

The move is seen as the first move in the re-shaping of Rank by chief executive Mike Smith. Odeon is also rumoured to be up for sale for around 300 million as Rank looks to cut debts.

SkyDome Coventry has been awarded its public entertainment license and drinks license ahead of the opening.

The licensing justices toured the complex before returning to court to issue the licenses.

SkyDome Coventry general manager Trevor Ellard said:

"It all went very well indeed and the chairman of the magistrates said that he was very happy to see SkyDome here in Coventry."

There is a VIP night tomorrow and the complex opens to the public on Friday. Three acts who have had number one hits - Sash, ATB and DJ Jean - and DJ Tony Blackburn are booked to appear in the first fortnight.

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CWN / Tourism & Leisure / SkyDome Coventry / 20 Oct 99

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM