St Ives nightclub could be converted into apartments after almost two decades in the town

The Music Box, St Ives.

The Music Box, St Ives. - Credit: Archant

A St Ives nightclub which has attracted revellers to the town for almost two decades has drawn up plans for a conversion into four executive apartments.

While the owners of The Music Box, in Crown Place, have no immediate plans to alter the current use of the building, they are preparing a contingency plan to allow easy conversion if the nightclub industry declines further.

They draw attention to the fact that out of three nightclubs in the town, only one has survived. The proposal is for four generous-sized two bedroom apartments, with a design which is sympathetic to the features of the existing building and its surroundings.

A design and access statement, submitted alongside a planning application to Huntingdonshire District Council, states: “Whilst the business has managed to survive the recent harsh economic climate, trading hours have been reduced to only 11 hours per week, spread over a Friday and Saturday night.

“This downturn in trade appears to be endemic in the nightclub industry with the closure of more than 50 per cent of venues. Youth unemployment coupled with the extensive availability of cheaper alcohol from supermarkets and the increased use of social media to meet online have all played their part.

“Changes in licensing legislation and hours have blurred the distinction between pubs/bars and nightclubs, putting pressure on the cover charge that nightclubs have to charge to meet the higher operating costs.

“It is this shift in the market that has prompted the owners of the Liberal Hall to look at options to secure their investment while seeking to preserve the Grade II-listed building.

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“The change of use will introduce a residential element to the heart of the town and will significantly reduce the amount of noise and disturbance associated with its current use.

“It is felt that, should the circumstances dictate the need to change the use of the building, a scheme can already be in place to ensure the building remains alive and vibrant for future generations.”

The Hunts Post contacted the venue’s management to discuss the plans further but had not heard back at the time of going to press.

The application is currently being considered by HDC.