Tru and Gallery face closure

A graph showing Luminar Group Holdings Plc, the company that owns both Tru and The Gallery, share prices over the last decade [Graph: Martyn Matthews/Sam Newsome]

A graph showing Luminar Group Holdings Plc, the company that owns both Tru and The Gallery, share prices over the last decade [Graph: Martyn Matthews/Sam Newsome]

New information has arisen this week, showing that two of York’s most popular student nightclubs, Tru and The Gallery, face imminent closure.

An anonymous source close to Nouse, in contact with a member of The Gallery management staff, revealed that those working at the club had been informed that unless there was a significant turnaround in the profitability of the venue in the next six months, then it would have to be sold.

The rumours of closure have also been reinforced by both Tru and The Gallery’s refusal to meet with Nouse to discuss the issue, despite repeated requests.

Furthermore, it was discovered that the club manager of Tru, Chris Bateman, even made a phone call to the manager of The Gallery to warn of Nouse‘s investigation.

Tru and The Gallery are both presently owned and operated by Luminar Group Holdings Plc, one of the largest club owning companies in the UK.

In their recently released financial report, it was revealed that in the last 52 weeks, Luminar’s share price has peaked at 166.00p and fallen to a low of 33.25p.

The current price is 34.5p. It was also shown that their per centage growth in earnings per share (EPS Growth) forecast for the end of Luminar’s financial year on 28th February 2010 is -71 per cent.

The group, which on 27 August 2009 owned 88 late night venues, also made a loss of £300,000 in the 6 month period prior to this date, compared with a profit of £3.4m in the same time frame in 2008. Moreover, in December 2009, sales were 13.8 per cent lower than those the same month in 2008.

Although both clubs are attended weekly by both the University of York and York St John students, Nouse’s source reported that student nights have proved not as profitable as the full price nights on Friday and Saturday. Even these nights, however, are now attended less by local club-goers than in more financially stable times.

In October 2009, the Financial Times reported: “Stephen Thomas, Chief Executive (of Luminar), said rising unemployment amongst Luminar’s core market of young clubbers was to blame for the sharp decline in trade.” It is thought to be likely that the possible closure will result in a buy-out by another company who would then revamp and relaunch the venue(s).

Reuters reported on the likelihood of such a takeover in January of this year, stating that: “HMV Group plc (HMV.L) is in advanced talks with nightclub operator Luminar (LMR.L) over a possible partnership.”

Reuters’ source stated: “I would expect it to blossom into an outright takeover.”

On visiting The Gallery, Nouse were met with hostility and told to leave the premises immediately. This reluctance to deny the closure, or even talk about the future of both Tru and The Gallery nightclubs, has been seen by many as a confirmation of the truth of the rumours.

The fact that Tru only opened as a club in 2008 after a £1million renovation of Toff’s nightclub, which was what it was previously named, has also been seen as a cause of the financial difficulties being faced by the venue.

Due to the poor financial climate and lack of attendance, it is possible that the club has struggled to recuperate the money invested in the development. ­­The news that two of the most visited nightclubs could potentially close was met with outrage by many students.

Sophie Handson, a first year University of York student, expressed her dismay, commenting: “I can’t believe The Gallery might be closing, I’m so annoyed. It’s my favourite night of the week.”

Kate Davey, another first year student, took a similar view, saying: “Where are students supposed to go now? Going out in York is going to be even more boring than before.”

28 comments

  1. As someone that works at Tru, this story disappoints me. This article is more rumour than fact; I’m not allowed to quote facts and figures, but as far as I’m aware the club is still making more than enough money to stay up for the forseeable future.

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  2. OH NO! I LOVE TRU! ARGHHHHHHH! MY LIFE WILL BE OVER IF IT SHUTS!

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  3. ~J that article doesn’t say they aren’t going bust, it just says they don’t plan to….which of course isn’t the same thing….

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  4. 23 Feb ’10 at 5:07 pm

    crowsflyingeast

    hahahahaha

    this article is pathetic!

    OK, so I know from a close friend that Nouse turned up at Tru the other night and announced that they had been informed by management that they would speak to them on matters of the closure…. management had had no contact with Nouse. They chose to give no comment not because they’re shutting, but because being a large company, everything the press can take as a statement has to be OK’d with head office.

    Gosh! Nouse really have just stirred this story in a cauldron of their own incompetence, and it just goes to show how little you can take as truth from this website. I thought we were supposed to be intelligent at York Uni! There is no actual information in this article, Tru and Gallery refuse to meet with Nouse because they both have more sense than to speak with a gossip-mongering people such as Nouse…..

    *sigh*

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  5. 23 Feb ’10 at 6:06 pm

    thebirdisinthenest

    Since when has Trusdays been struggling with the amount of customers! Have you seen the queues to get in there…its rammed!

    I also know a friend at York Uni and they say that YUSU is buying up shares in both clubs to buy them to build new student accommodation, ha! More likely they want to build a nuclear testing facility for YUSU’s plans to take over the world! I tell you these rumours I’ve heard are FACTS!!!

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  6. Whilst they probably don’t “face imminent closure” the owner Luminar Group Holdings PLC is clearly in trouble.

    Coincidental to this article, they chose today to announce that they are getting a new boss to try and turn things around: http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/leisure/article7037393.ece

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  7. This article is actually laughable.

    “The rumours of closure have also been reinforced by both Tru and The Gallery’s refusal to meet with Nouse to discuss the issue, despite repeated requests.”

    The fact that you have to tell the readers what to make of the owners not bothering to respond to a student newspaper says it all really.

    And the patronising prose doesn’t stop there:

    “This reluctance to deny the closure, or even talk about the future of both Tru and The Gallery nightclubs, has been seen by many as a confirmation of the truth of the rumours”

    Who is ‘many’? The Nouse editorial team?

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  8. Granted, “Luminerr?” however it shows that (though the message was late), the organisation did respond to the query. Both bars are still profitable and the above quote

    “it is thought to be likely that the possible closure will result in a buy-out by another company who would then revamp and relaunch the venues”

    doesn’t exactly indicate that they’re likely to be “facing closure” as it says in the title! The chief organisation is in trouble but Tru and Gallery aren’t. And ultimately the students at York don’t care who owns their favourite nightclubs :P

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  9. Probably wouldn’t be the end of the world if they were to shut. Then maybe a new owner might come and make them better. Both Tru and Gallery essentially offer the same type of commercial mainstream night. There is simply not a need for 2 nightclubs in York where the music is exactly the same as the other. New ownership might give York students the kind of clubs that they deserve, catering for more musical tastes and give the other clubs in York some competition so they have to up their game.

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  10. 24 Feb ’10 at 10:58 am

    Tony Richards

    Luminar leisure may leave york but tru and gallery will remain open. I think this is a positive thing. YUSUs contractual ties with Luminar make it really difficult to do innovative ents things like potentially taking viking raid to leeds etc etc

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  11. I’m generally a big fan of Nouse. Their stories are much better than Vision, and 99% of the time they don’t deserve to be called No-use.

    But this story is a load of bull. It’s based on a hunch based on a rumour, and then backed up by a ton of facts that amount to correlation, and none of which are substantial as proof of the allegations. If this was a story in a national paper you would be in court for it. Poor show.

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  12. 24 Feb ’10 at 11:36 am

    Tired of TR BS

    ” YUSUs contractual ties with Luminar make it really difficult to do innovative ents things like potentially taking viking raid to leeds etc etc”

    Really? What a load of rubbish. I’d expect a prospective ents officer to be a bit better informed…

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  13. Alternatively a nightly YUSU bus service to Leeds and back would work well. Giving York students more of a choice and for less.

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  14. 24 Feb ’10 at 1:15 pm

    Daniel Linderman

    I can’t believe people are just fobbing this story off. Tru and gallery are huge parts of York student culture. Our nightlife is so bad already that if there’s even a slight possibility that they might be closing, I wouldn’t happy. The fact that the managers didn’t expressively come out denying that they were having money issues At the time is worrying.

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  15. Yer but that doesn’t mean that they are necessarily good parts of York student culture. Neither Tru or Gallery offer York that much variation. Same music, each night. A revamp of both Tru and Gallery or even just one of them would be amazing. Preferably offering students an alternative to the usually cheese pop music of both of Luminars clubs. Both Tru and Gallery are nice clubs inside but they need a bit more variety in the music.

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  16. 25 Feb ’10 at 8:25 am

    Dasher Mule Soul

    Wah, wah, wah. Clubs in York aren’t great anyway. Let’s bring back campus events!

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  17. 25 Feb ’10 at 5:00 pm

    thebirdisinthenest

    The only problem I have with this is “New information” where is this new info reported in the article exactly…Oh FYI Sam / Hannah…

    Information = knowledge gained through study, communication, research, instruction, etc.; factual data

    Rumour = a story or statement in general circulation without confirmation or certainty as to facts: a rumor of war

    Hope you two arent pursuing a career in the media!

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  18. Campus events are no better than the clubs in York. They are just as overpriced. The only college bar that has had the slightest bit of attention is the courtyard. Other Universities have incredible bars and clubs on campus. We don’t. As for Tru and Gallery closing, they won’t. They make more than enough money off York with out even trying. York’s nightlife won’t change a bit. And that’s the real problem.

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  19. “The rumours of closure have also been reinforced by both Tru and The Gallery’s refusal to meet with Nouse to discuss the issue, despite repeated requests.”

    “On visiting The Gallery, Nouse were met with hostility and told to leave the premises immediately. This reluctance to deny the closure, or even talk about the future of both Tru and The Gallery nightclubs, has been seen by many as a confirmation of the truth of the rumours.”

    By many? Many in the No use office maybe!

    Seems to me Nouse is going downhill with each issue and the students running it are too full of their own importance.

    There is nothing the editorial staff cannot do better. They could run Heslinton East better than the University management team. They know more about renting properties than landlords twice their age. Just because business managers will not stop what they are doing to speak to a jumped up student may have an alternative explanation.

    Less Sun more Times plesae!

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  20. maybe they should open up a student nightclub/ gig venue up on campus. would be popular and run by the students, giving the students what they want.

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  21. “They should” ??? Why don’t YOU Fred you lazy bum!

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  22. why doesnt someone from YUSU do it? it is their job after all to provide students with a wide range of events and activities. As it is they struggle with the freshers ball let alone anything else. other universities have central students unions with gig venues, nightclubs, cafes, bars, shops, etc in. YUSU doesnt deliver students any of these.

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  23. Worst journalism ever….

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  24. I will be really upset if Gallery closes, as it is such a good night out! Am not remotely bothered by Tru shutting, as it is one of the worst, cheesiest clubs I have ever been to! It’s too light, the dancefloors are cramped, the drinks are suitably cheap (if you like drinking apple flavoured pop basically) and it all has a bit of a feeling of a school disco, with bouncers who think they have an important job looking on in authority (sorry you failed your GCSE’s btw.)

    However, it all seems a bit unlikely to happen! But Gallery should be safer, as it is always full, unlike Tru which on thursdays can be shockingly dead. People needn’t worry anyway, we still have Salvation, Blue Fly, Vudu and of course Willow!

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  25. 28 May ’10 at 11:52 am

    Dissapointed raver

    Gallery plays exactly the same music as Tru. Both are pretty shocking mind you. Looking forward to Fibbers being renovated, hoping they ll show York how its done.

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  26. 10 Aug ’11 at 11:15 am

    thebirdisinthenest

    Love going back through old articles and laughing at NO USES stupidity…Tru bought out by Toykos and then completely fails, Gallery has risen once more and YUSU are still offering sub par nights at sub par venues, Gallery Monday’s that are there official York St John University night are great…let’s get it sorted people!

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  27. 12 Aug ’11 at 5:46 pm

    thebirdistheword

    Hate to defend Nouse too much but stop trolling thebirdisinthenest (your bitterness makes me think you are maybe connected with Gallery in some way…). Tru was clearly facing closure if it was allowed to be sold to Tokyo (and the problems causing it to face closure are perhaps still inherent if, as you put it, it “completely fails”). Also, try and find a member of York Uni that went to Gallery last term – you’d be hard pushed. However, I do prefer Gallery to Tokyo and am slightly saddened that it has not made a return in the recently confirmed York Uni official nights line-up for next year.

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