Businessman acquires Birmingham’s threatened Nightingale Club

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A local businessman has bought Birmingham’s iconic Nightingale Club for an undisclosed sum after the gay nightspot was put into administration.

Lawrence Barton already runs the Loft Lounge, Penthouse and Village Inn venues in the city’s Southside district, and says he will invest more than £1 million in the club over the coming years.

The Nightingale Club has been an iconic fixture in Birmingham for more than 40 years, having first opened in 1969 on Camp Hill, but was forced into administration by Lloyds TSB last month.

Barton, who is the Chair of Birmingham Pride, said: “The Nightingale Club is a venue of paramount importance not only to Birmingham but to the UK’s wider gay community.

“We are very keen to build working partnerships with the other gay venues in the city along with developing the relationships already established with LGBT community groups, so that the acquisition of the Nightingale Club is of benefit to everyone.

“Personally I am very keen to see that the Nightingale once again becomes one of the biggest gay super clubs in the country, which is not only good for the LGBT community but also good for Southside and Birmingham’s economy.”

David Nash, operations manager for Barton’s group of Southside businesses, added: “We are acutely aware of the historic significance of the club to our city and are extremely proud that we are presented with the opportunity to move the club forward and secure its future and rightful place as one of the most important venues in the city.

“It’s fantastic news that the club remains under gay ownership and will continue to be run for the gay community.”

A Facebook page set up when the club owners announced it was going into administration has attracted 552 supporters. The news was welcomed today on the page but supporters added it was not a “surprise” Mr Barton had bought the club.