THE owner of Southampton nightclub Oceana is reported to have said that the company could collapse unless a sale is agreed imminently.

Sky News said it had seen a letter from the boss of the UK’s biggest club operator, the Deltic Group, seeking a rent-free period of several months from landlords.

The letter from chief executive Peter Marks said no potential buyer would proceed without knowing that “long term occupation of the property can be secured”.

He said that “without a successful sale, the business will have no option but to be closed”.

As well as Oceana at Leisure World in Southampton, Deltic owns the Oceana and Pryzm venues.

SOS issued for night-time economy following coronavirus pandemic

Sky News quoted Mr Marks as saying: “The management team of Deltic Group firmly believe that when they are allowed to open they will once again have a viable long term business.

“In the interim any investor will have to fund substantial holding costs to maintain the staff and meet statutory obligation until the clubs can be reopened.

“Whilst bidders are willing to invest without clarity on an opening date, they require the support of the landlord group through the closure period.”

In September, a group of nightclubs warned that the sector faced “collapse”.

The Night Time Industries Association said 58 per cent of businesses in the night time economy feared they would not survive more than another two months without extra government support, putting an estimated 754,000 jobs at risk.

The association said the sector employs 1.3milion people in the UK and contributes £66billion to the economy.

Mr Marks said then: “The late night leisure sector, a sector which employs tens of thousands across the UK, is at risk of collapse if the government does not act now - it is that simple. We need a clear reopening plan, or at the very least fit-for-purpose financial assistance.”