THE new owner of a threatened city centre nightclub has revealed plans to transform the huge venue after announcing its doors would be closing immediately.

Atik, in High Street, Colchester, was due to close permanently in June with its owner citing "challenging" trading conditions as one of the reasons for its closure.

A last-minute U-turn by bosses saw the venue remain open while discussions over its future continued.

But now, three months after the announcement of the closure, a new owner has received the keys to the club after the sale of the business was completed on Monday, and the company has big plans.

Gazette: Goodbye - Atik has closed with immediate effect while its new owners take on a huge refitGoodbye - Atik has closed with immediate effect while its new owners take on a huge refit (Image: Google)

When will Atik Colchester re-open?

Epic Bars and Clubs will be investing more than £600,000 into redesigning and refurbishing the long-standing nightclub while preserving the beautiful features of the iconic building.

Atik has closed with immediate effect while the project takes place before it re-opens under a new brand in October, in time for Halloween.

The growing nightlife chain already has 15 sites across the UK, including the Trilogy, Labyrinth, and Botanic brands.

Its chief executive Mark Shorting said he was "thrilled" to be expanding into Colchester.

He added: “We really have got something extraordinary planned and I can’t wait for everyone to see it. Not only are big nights out in Colchester coming back but we will make them undeniably better than ever.”

All staff will retain their jobs when the new venue opens and an extra 30 jobs could be created.

'Fantastic news for the city'

The takeover announcement came as positive news to Colchester clubbers including city councillor Sam McLean whose family shares happy memories of the iconic club.

Gazette: Councillor - Sam McLeanCouncillor - Sam McLean (Image: Public)

Mr McLean, who is also Labour's local economy spokesman, said: “This is fantastic news for our local economy in our young city.

“The nightclub provides Colchester with a valuable social hub, where we can meet and enjoy socialising with friends and strangers, connected through a mutual enjoyment of music, dance, and partying.

“We don’t often think about it but these facilities have a positive effect on the city’s community spirit and the mental health of the residents.

“I enjoy going out to dance on occasion and I find that a good night out always has a long-lasting impact on my mood and motivation.

“The High Street nightclub has been there for generations in one form or another. It would have been a terrible shame to see it go for good.

“I’ve known it as Atik, my brother knew it as Liquid, and my dad knew it as the Hippodrome when he came to Colchester as a student in the 1980s before deciding to settle here with my mum, who he met in Colchester thanks to venues such as this.”

Owners of other venues, including Jeremy Durrant, the boss of Rubix, in Crouch Street, also breathed a sigh of relief after fearing Atik's closure could spell the end of other businesses.

Gazette: Business leader - Rubix owner Jeremy DurrantBusiness leader - Rubix owner Jeremy Durrant (Image: Jeremy Durrant)

He told the Gazette: “I wouldn’t want to see any business leave the city unnecessarily. More choice for nightlife means there are more chances of people coming into town from Colchester and further afield.

“As the nights draw in, especially around Halloween, people will want something to enjoy and a new venue will be a boost to other businesses as footfall will increase as people check out the new venue and return to tried and tested ones.”