A petition has been presented to Parliament calling for the popular Pryzm nightclub to remain open.

The club is set to be forced out of its venue in Watford town centre by January 5 2023, with the landlord determined to turn the site into 147 homes.

Plans for homes and shops are still subject to planning permission, but the landlord says Pryzm, along with the likes of Iceland, Laser Planet and Steinbeck & Shaw, will be gone by the end of January.

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Watford Observer: Pryzm nightclub in Watford. Credit: Stephen DanzigPryzm nightclub in Watford. Credit: Stephen Danzig

More than 300 people have objected to the plans and Watford MP Dean Russell has joined Pryzm’s campaign to ‘save Watford’s nightlife’.

On Tuesday (June 28), the Conservative politician presented a petition in the House of Commons which calls on Watford Borough Council to reject the redevelopment, adding the petition can be a “catalyst” to request a meeting to understand how the closure can be avoided.

Watford Observer: Watford MP Dean Russell at PryzmWatford MP Dean Russell at Pryzm

Mr Russell added: “If the planning application to construct houses on the site and Pryzm itself is approved, it will have a hugely detrimental effect on the local economy.

“If the application is refused, the landlord must be asked to stop evicting Pryzm nightclub as tenants and I have written to the landlord requesting a meeting.”

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Pryzm is the largest nightclub in Hertfordshire and can attract around 2,000 people on some nights. The site’s history as a club dates back decades, having previously operated as Paradise Lost, Bailey’s, Top Rank, Kudos, and Oceana.

The club’s landlord, Watford Parade (Gibraltar) has suggested Pryzm take advantage of vacant space elsewhere in the town, such as Gade House, but at around half the size of Pryzm’s current venue, the club sees it as “impossible” to replicate the “superclub” experience it offers now.

Watford Observer: Pryzm nightclub in The Parade in Watford. Credit: Stephen DanzigPryzm nightclub in The Parade in Watford. Credit: Stephen Danzig

Pryzm, which employs more than 100 people, launched a campaign to ‘save Watford’s nightlife’ and also ran a survey in which it found young adults would stop venturing into the town if the club shut.

Dave Vickery, manager of Pryzm, said: “The campaign started when the application was submitted to the council.

“The support from all age groups has been amazing. It's a great place for young people to come to, and I hope we can make progress. I would like to thank Dean for his support.”

Watford Observer: Pryzm manager Dave Vickery with Watford MP Dean RussellPryzm manager Dave Vickery with Watford MP Dean Russell

The Watford Business Improvement District (BID) has said the loss of Pryzm would have a “devastating impact” on Watford’s economy, including on neighbouring bars, pubs, restaurants, takeaways, and for taxi drivers.

BID chief executive Maria Manion said: “Pryzm, in its many guises, has been part of Watford’s cultural heritage for decades. The impact of a venue such as Pryzm on other businesses in the town cannot be underestimated.

“We estimate around £170,000 is spent in town on an average Saturday night as a direct result of Pryzm. The loss of the club will have an impact on Watford as a destination and on the economic and social stability of the town.”

Watford Observer: How the Pryzm building could be redeveloped. Credit: Dwyer Asset ManagementHow the Pryzm building could be redeveloped. Credit: Dwyer Asset Management

The planning application is due to be decided by the council’s planning committee this summer.

The application can be viewed on the council's planning portal via reference 22/00506/FULM.

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