Furious club owners slam Omni Centre over sudden axe of Mood

Mood's exit from the Omni Centre will result in the loss of 30 jobs
Mood's exit from the Omni Centre will result in the loss of 30 jobs
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ANGRY nightclub bosses have slammed the owners of the Omni Centre after being ordered to move out.

Mood, which is based at the complex in Greenside Place, will shut at the end of month, leaving dozens of staff out of work.

The club’s lease was cancelled by the centre’s owner Aviva Investors, which revealed a 300-seat Chinese restaurant would take over the site.

Bosses at Mood said 30 workers would lose their jobs and accused Aviva of harming trade at the centre, which already has several venues serving food.

Gareth Hughes, Mood general manager, said he and his fellow managers believed they had signed a long-term lease and were stunned when they were told a decision had been made to terminate it.

He said: “We are having to let workers go through no fault of our own – emotions here are high at the moment.

“When we were told the lease was being terminated, we inquired about taking the vacant unit that was previously occupied by Walkabout bar on the other side of the centre but Aviva were not interested.”

Chinese banquet operator Cosmo confirmed it had agreed to take over the lease and would open a restaurant in the summer.

Mr Hughes, 41, said Aviva’s plan to open another food and drink outlet would hit similar established businesses in the pocket.

He said: “What they are trying to do is make the Omni food-led but it does not need another food business.

“I think opening another restaurant will just harm the other businesses in the Omni, as well as those round about, which are already trying to trade in hard times. They’re all going to suffer.”

Bosses at Mood are now set to seek alternative premises for Mood, which Mr Hughes said enjoyed an excellent relationship with the police.

But he warned that the closure of the 1000-capacity venue would seriously hit the Capital’s night-time entertainment offering.

“I think it will mean a loss to the late-night scene in Edinburgh,” he said.

“It’s not just 30 people who are losing their jobs here. 
Edinburgh’s always had an issue with late-night venues and I think this decision is bad from the point of view of having a mix of venues in the city.”

Bosses at Aviva Investors defended the cancellation of Mood’s lease and said it would maximise value for its clients.

A company spokeswoman said: “The Omni Centre is a prime holding in one of the most vibrant urban locations in the UK. Demand from potential tenants is high and Aviva Investors works to combine the best leisure offer to customers and investment performance for clients.

“On that basis, the previous tenant of this unit, Mood has been replaced by a food and beverage operator with a strong brand and high-quality offer.”