Comedy Store closes

Leeds venue lasts just 8 months

The Comedy Store is to close its Leeds venue.

The site was only opened in November last year, as an experiment in rolling out the esteemed comedy brand to new parts of the country.

Owner Don Ward says its closure after less than a year is “very disappointing” but vowed that it will not stop his expansion plans – although it might alter them.

The venue was run as a franchise, but Ward believes main problem was the lack of other attractions in the Merrion Centre to lure punters.

He said: “The demand for comedy is undoubtedly very robust, but the site was just too large to support The Comedy Store.

“And with a relatively short lease in place, it was decided to call a halt on the pilot.

“It has demonstrated a number of key lessons. We have solicited customer feedback and will take their views on board.”

The club’s last night will be this Saturday.

Despite the setback, Ward says he would still be on the lookout for other suitable sites to run as franchise operations – but only into a limited number of cities seen as “key’ to expansion.

As well as its venues in London and Manchester, the Store provides comedy programming in Norwich, Durham, Warrington and Bolton - as well as Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong.

Published: 30 Jun 2004

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