The Club gearing up to host burlesque and dance nights this summer
- Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND
An Ipswich nightclub that opened for just a few short weeks before lockdown forced it to close for more than a year has a fresh new look ready for its summer relaunch.
The woman behind The Club on the Cornhill - previously home to KCs and before that Betty's - is looking forward to hosting burlesque and dance nights from June 21 if the Government's roadmap to removing restrictions goes ahead as planned.
Leyla Edwards has ploughed all her savings into the venture, which first opened last February before being forced to shut as the coronavirus pandemic took a grip, and has applied for every grant possible so she can re-do the bar in time for the big reopening.
The 51-year-old mental health worker is installing lasers, painting and decorating the two-level club, opting for a jungle theme for one area and a city-scape for the other.
She is also working on getting a new sound system and a light show put in, in the hope it will draw clubbers from neighbouring towns as well as those local to Ipswich.
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"We want to be different from those commercial clubs," Ms Edwards said. "It will be for anyone from young to as old as you like.
"I hope to host gig and dance nights, burlesque, open mics, LGBT+ events so people from every walk of life feels comfortable.
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"A lot of people are really keen for there to be an independent.
"And with restrictions being lifted, people are coming out of the woodwork to get us on our feet."
The Club had a good run in February, when Ms Edwards opened from 11pm to 4am for three weeks, and was on target to make a profit.
But Ms Edwards, who is running the club with her partner Robin Dicker, says: "We've completely been on the breadline since.
"We also had to get a new roof and we knew how much it would be but that was before lockdown."
She dreams of making the club a success and added: ""It's not about getting rich. We'll plough everything we have into this to make this a success."
Ms Edwards, who lives in Belstead Hills, did do a brief reopening as a bar last year but the cost of implementing table service and social distancing measures meant it was not worthwhile.
She thinks they may reconsider this in the coming weeks as restrictions are gradually relaxed.
"We need to keep our name out there and stay competitive," she said.
She also hopes the new sound system will let them stream high-quality dance and live music to their fans if there is another lockdown.
Ms Edwards will continue working in mental health recovery work, three days a week, which she originally thought was a stop-gap.