A POPULAR high street nightclub claims it has been forced to close after a new landlord took over.

Baileys on Braintree High Street closed at the weekend, with the understanding the new landlord wishes to have vacant possession of the property.

Stuart Buckley and Bernie Smith, from the Boars Head pub in the High Street, were gutted to have to close the nightclub which they took over at the end of last year.

Mr Buckley said: "It was a dead pub and we have turned it into a successful one.

"There isn't a lot left in Braintree, a lot of the young people are going out of town.

"We are a commercially viable business and we are getting kicked out of a High Street shop that is just going to sit empty again."

Braintree and Witham Times:

On their opening night the club had 811 guests and residents were shocked to hear of the club's closure.

Mr Buckley said: "This is going to become a residential street, nobody is investing in Braintree any more.

"We took a personal risk to open that club to prove things can work in the High Street.

"We would have been happy to run the club into the future as it was viable."

He said their eyes would be open to new opportunities in the town.

The landlord's representative, Birchall Steel, said the sale will be completed next week with the intention of turning the top half into residential and the bottom into a commercial unit.