Legendary Batley Frontier club confirms it will close this month

The legendary Frontier club in Batley will open its doors for the final time '“ before it is transformed into a gym.

Tuesday, 12th July 2016, 11:53 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 7:12 pm

Owners of the night spot have confirmed that the Bradford Road venue will close after one last party on Saturday, July 30.

Then fitness company JD Gyms will totally re-vamp the inside, 49 years after it opened as the world famous Batley Variety Club.

Frontier general manager Nick Westwell said: “It’s never going to be an entertainment venue again, which is a shame.”

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“It is, without question, a very sad time and we are truly sorry to be losing such an icon.

“We are very conscious that this will be quite emotive for many people and we understand the loss of any significant entertainment space can be extremely damaging to small towns in particular.

“Since the turn of the century, the commercial entertainment landscape has changed and the demands for larger arenas, opposed to smaller style concert halls, has been prevalent.”

Mr Westwell said that smaller venues had been affected by changes in entertainment technology, transport links, drinking hours laws and the smoking ban.


“We wanted to ensure that this didn’t happen here,” he said.

But a new night spot called Terrace-Bar-Club (a play on TBC, or ‘to be continued’) will open at the former Hitsville site in Bradford Road on Friday, August 5.

Around 10 new jobs will be created at the venue, which is having a £400,000 spruce-up. It will boast three bars across two floors.

Opening on Fridays and Saturdays, it will be free admission between 9pm to 11pm in its bar and terrace areas.

Then an upstairs room opens at 11pm and all three areas will remain open until 5am.

But the Frontier will enjoy one final blow-out itself on July 30, when between 7pm and 11pm local DJ Alan Kent will play hits by the 1960s-1980s Variety Club legends.

Resident DJs Mark Freejack and Steve Mitchell will then boom out tracks from the 90s to the present day.

During the Batley Variety Club’s heydey, owners James and Betty Corrigan hosted musical stars such as Roy Orbison, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Dusty Springfield, Shirley Bassey, Louis Armstrong, Tom Jones, Lulu, The Bee Gees and many other famous names.

Bee Gee Maurice Gibbs met his wife Yvonne Spenceley, from Dewsbury, while she was a waitress at the Variety Club.

It opened in 1967 and was turned into the Frontier club in the early 1980s.

Since then it has continued as a live music venue and has also ran club nights with DJs at weekends.