Historic former nightclub building sold to affordable housing provider

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A former nightclub building has been sold to an affordable homes provider.

Newcastle-under-Lyme-based Aspire Housing has bought the iconic Zanzibar building in the town for an undisclosed sum – just months after it was put back on the market.

The three-storey 36,000 sq ft building on Brunswick Street, formerly known as The Crystal Ballroom and latterly Zanzibar, is now expected to be demolished to make way for Aspire’s plans.

While final proposals have not yet been put forward, Aspire has confirmed that it is considering a number of uses for the site – including a housing or retail development.

Dan Gray, executive director of property at Aspire Housing, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to give a new lease of life to a site which has unfortunately passed its heyday.

“Zanzibar was once a popular nightlife venue, but in the past 16 years the site has remained mostly unused.

“There are a number of different options we’d like to explore, but the prime gateway location, on the edge of the town centre, has enormous redevelopment potential for a range of uses including housing, service delivery and potentially retail.

“We’re excited to see what the future holds for the site and will be working up plans now that the site has been secured.”

The former Zanzibar night club in Newcastle-under-Lyme

Originally built as a snooker hall in the 1950s on the site of a former coal yard, the building was transformed into the Crystal Ballroom dance hall in 1958.

The building underwent a number of changes over the years; most recently known as The Zanzibar which closed its doors for the final time in 2004.

Andrew Groves of Harris Lamb – the property consultancy who who sold the building – said: “As anticipated, there was a significant amount of interest in this well-known site.

“Having received over 10 bids on the property, Aspire Housing were confirmed as the successful party and terms were agreed for the purchase at an undisclosed sum. The business felt that the opportunity was a strong fit with its current requirements.

“It will be fascinating to watch this landmark site being redeveloped and brought back to life, having stood empty for a number of years following the closure of The Zanzibar nightclub.”

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