LEADING law firm Hay & Kilner has helped to transform a derelict basement on Tyneside into a top comedy venue which has already secured the services of TV stars Frankie Boyle, Sarah Millican and Rory Bremner.
The Newcastle firm worked with Edinburgh-headquartered comedy club operator The Stand to help it end a search, which has taken several years, to find the ideal venue in the region.
Having outlined a derelict basement at 31 High Bridge Street which is owned by Newcastle City Council, Hay & Kilner navigated The Stand through a lengthy process of negotiation to agree 25-year lease of the site.
Nicola Tiffen, a partner in Hay & Kilner’s commercial property team, played a key role in enabling the comedy club to finally complete its Tyneside expansion, which it has long been considering.
Ms Tiffen said: “Although the site was derelict it was the ideal size and perfect location for The Stand and allowed the company to fulfil its ambitions of expanding into the North East.
“Newcastle now has its first purpose-built comedy venue run by a business that is well respected among the country’s most high profile comedians, which can only be good news for the region’s comedy fans.”
The Stand Comedy Club, which is the trading name for Salt ‘n’ Sauce Promotions, has venues in Edinburgh and Glasgow as well as its new 300+ capacity site in Newcastle.
The basement club, that also runs a street-level bistro and bar, has already hosted the likes of Phill Jupitus, Rory Bremner, Mark Watson and Patrick Monohan – the recent winner of TV’s Show me the Funny – in the weeks since its launch.
Richard Turner, general manager at The Stand said: “After an opening season that featured some of the biggest names in comedy, our line-up for the start of 2012 is once again a who’s who in the world of making people laugh. The club’s programme includes Sarah Millican, Mark Thomas, Alun Cochrane, Fred MacAulay, and Simon Munnery, and that’s just January.
“If the excellent reception we’ve received in Newcastle since we launched is anything to go by, the venue looks to have a long and successful future on Tyneside and we are grateful for Hay & Kilner’s help in making that possible.”
The Stand was formed by a group of comedy fans as a hobby and, although now a successful business, it remains true to its roots of supporting new stand up comedy.
It is also committed to nurturing new talent with its weekly newcomer’s night Red Raw, which is how comedians like Frankie Boyle and Kevin Bridges began their careers.
Nicola Tiffen handles all aspects of commercial property work and is regularly involved in acquisitions for investment and operational purposes for a range of clients including property developers, builders, business clients and the healthcare sector.
In the Chambers Guide 2011 she was commended for her attention to detail and pragmatic treatment of issues that arise.