There have been lots of twists and turns in the story of Pryzm in Watford — this is what you need to know.

Watford’s biggest nightclub appears set to move out by January 5, 2024, after the building was put on the market with a £6,000,000 guide price.

The Watford Observer has been told that the building must be empty by January 5, as the site is set to be sold with vacant possession.

So, how did we get here?

2016 – Oceana is dead, long live Pryzm

Watford Observer: Oceana nightclub.Oceana nightclub. (Image: Watford Observer)

The former Oceana nightclub in The Parade was given a £1 million makeover and turned into Pryzm in 2016.

It was not the first identity change for the club, which started life as Top Rank before becoming Baileys in the 70s and 80s, Paradise Lost, Kudos in the 90s, and then Destiny.

April 2022 – Housing plans

Plans to build 147 homes at the Pryzm site, also including Iceland, were submitted in April last year and would have resulted in the club’s closure had they been approved.

The existing 1960s building would have been demolished and replaced by a new building of 131 flats, rising to eight storeys.

A second structure, of 16 homes, was proposed to the rear of the current car park, backing onto Beechen Grove.

June 2022 – Closure confirmed?

Watford Observer: Pryzm Watford.Pryzm Watford. (Image: Stephen Danzig)

As hundreds of objections to the proposal flew in, the landlord said that all of its tenants were still set to be evicted by the end of January 2023 even if its application was to be rejected.

July 26, 2022 – Plans shot down

The 147-flat planning application was refused.

Reasons given for the planning officer recommending refusal mostly related to design rather than the economic impact on Watford, despite many concerns being raised during consultation about what impact shutting Pryzm down could have on the town’s economy.

December 2022 – Pryzm saved?

Watford Observer: Dean Russell MP celebrates the lease extension.Dean Russell MP celebrates the lease extension. (Image: Dean Russell MP)

At the eleventh hour, on December 21 of last year, it was announced that Pryzm Watford had signed a five-year lease extension to save the venue.

This came in spite of the earlier warnings it would certainly close in January, even if the plan was refused.

October 2023 – Building for sale

After a listing on Zoopla showed the building was set to be sold with vacant possession, Estate Office Property Consultants, which is selling the property, told the Watford Observer that Pryzm will need to have vacated the site by January 5, when the lease will end.

It is understood that the five-year lease agreement included a break-clause.

The future

A spokesperson on behalf of Pryzm Watford has said the company is aware the building is up for sale.

However, a meeting with the landlord has been set up to discuss Pryzm’s options at the site.

On the face of it, “full vacant possession due by January 5 2024” is there on the brochure in black and white. 

Still, the long-term future of the site has appeared near-certain before.