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Club Caprice nightclub in Cliftonville could become 'cultural art space' and wedding venue


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Proposals to transform a dilapidated nightclub into an arts centre and wedding venue have been submitted.

Under the plans, Club Caprice in Cliftonville - a popular nightspot from the 1960s to 2016 - will be brought back to life by owner Kerry Ryan.

The former Club Caprice building on Fort Paragon. Picture: vPPR Architects
The former Club Caprice building on Fort Paragon. Picture: vPPR Architects

Mr Ryan runs a specialist neon fabrication business, with workshops in London and Miami, creating works for artists including Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst and Peter Saville.

He bought the site in 2019 with a vision to adapt the former nightclub on Fort Paragon as a space for high level art exhibitions, art educational workshops, weddings and community events.

He also wants to create living accommodation for his family.

Proposals for the 'Neon Ballroom' scheme have now been submitted to Thanet District Council, drawn up by vPPR Architects, the firm acting as agent for Mr Kerry.

"The vision is to transform the former nightclub into a creative mixed-use space, combining a commercial neon workshop and a live-work flexible venue with multi-generational living accommodations," the architect explains.

CGI for how the transformed former nightclub will look if plans are approved. Picture: vPPR Architects
CGI for how the transformed former nightclub will look if plans are approved. Picture: vPPR Architects

"The applicant travels extensively for his work and the residential part of the development is for him and his family while they are in residence in Margate.

"He has a large family and would like to be able to provide a multi-generational living accommodation for them, which would suit his needs and provide for future generations."

The scheme also includes some temporary residential accommodation for use by artists in residence and for 24-hour security guard presence during high-value art exibitions.

vPPR added: "The historic architecture will be conserved and celebrated in the restoration of this derelict building, bringing it back to life and in uses that it was designed for originally for the local and wider communities and for future generations.

"The project outcome will have a significant and positive impact on its setting and may well be the catalyst for development in the direct and wider areas of this end of Margate and Cliftonville."

Indicative impression of proposed flexible open plan interior. Picture: vPPR Architects
Indicative impression of proposed flexible open plan interior. Picture: vPPR Architects

The vacant premises forms part of a Grade II-listed building and vPPR Archiects say the proposals seek to celebrate the historic architecture, conserve its significance and enhance its setting.

Plans also include landscaping the existing grassed public open space at the front of the venue to create a sculpture garden with paths and benches.

In 2017, there were plans to convert the former nightclub into flats, but the proposals were refused by Thanet District Council.

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