Business News Legal Live Business Top Stories

Cable founder says Network Rail gave assurances club would not be closed

By | Published on Friday 3 May 2013


The founder of London nightclub Cable has issued a new statement on the repossession of the venue by landlord Network Rail earlier this week.

As previously reported, bailiffs cut their way through the venue’s metal shutters on Wednesday morning after obtaining a court order authorising entry. In its initial statement, the venue said that the repossession came after two years of legal battles to keep it open – in which time the two other venue spaces under London Bridge Station, Shunt and Debut (formerly SeOne), have been closed down to make way for station redevelopment.

Earlier today, Network Rail told CMU: “Our plans for the station have long been in the public domain and we gave our tenant two years notice of the need to take back possession to enable us to start our work on this essential project”.

However, Cable founder Euan Johnston (who also set up SeOne) has said that it was Network Rail which approached him in 2008 with a proposal to redevelop the space into a nightclub. He says he was given assurances that the new space would not be affected by other redevelopment work and so invested millions of pounds in developing the club, only for Network Rail to announce it needed it back two years after Cable’s 2009 launch.

Johnston said in the statement: “We are totally shocked and devastated that this could have happened. We were assured when we moved in that we would not be affected by the redevelopment and Network Rail have simply changed their minds – the worst thing is there is nothing we can do to prevent it. We have invested a huge amount of time and energy developing the space and growing Cable as a brand, not to mention employing 70 staff who now face redundancy”.

He continued: “The way Network Rail have treated us is a disgrace, we have been brushed aside by people from Network Rail at every level right up to Chief Executive Sir David Higgins. They simply don’t care and are not interested in having any meaningful discussion at all, they are apparently the country’s biggest small business landlord, but let this be a warning to other tenants of Network Rail that whatever agreement you have with them may mean nothing if they want to bulldoze you”.

Although the decision to take back the venue space cannot now be reversed, Cable’s owners say they will “continue the fight for justice”. Network Rail declined to comment further.

Cable has also posted a video report on its official YouTube channel, and is also working on a documentary about its battle with Network Rail. Watch the report here: