One of the UK’s most prestigious and well known snooker venues, The Northern Snooker Centre (NSC) in Leeds, has come to market for the first time in 47 years, following the decision by the major shareholder of the business to retire.
Under the ownership of the Williamson family since 1974, The Northern Snooker Centre, or 'the Northern' as it is affectionately known to its many customers and the wider snooker fraternity, presents an exceptional opportunity to acquire one of the UK’s premier cue sports venues, which has become an established part of the Leeds community and played host to many top professional snooker champions and players over the years.
In the early seventies, the NSC was the venue for some of the pro-celebrity snooker programmes televised by Yorkshire TV in the centre arena with players such as Les Dawson, Fred Trueman, Bill Maynard and Kenny Lynch all gracing the venue.
Today, the NSC has an active and diverse membership of approximately 9,000, with members ranging in age from seven to over seventy years of age and comprising families and students, through to high-ranking amateurs, semi-professional, and professional players, who are all considered the heart of the club.
The venue is well known on the UK and international snooker circuits, contributing to the local community by sponsoring many snooker, billiards and pool events, as well as hosting a variety of English Amateur events and the World Ladies and World Billiards tournaments.
During the late 1990's and early 2000's the business made significant investment in developing the stand-alone venue known as Stateside Pool Lounge. Diversifying into the American 9-ball and the UK 8-ball pool market complemented the snooker business by attracting a slightly different demographic, including students and corporate/party group bookings.
The property comprises ground and first floor accommodation extending to 1,633.08 sq m (17,578.47 sq ft) together with on-site car parking. There are 27 snooker tables including a dedicated exhibition area (the ‘Paul Hunter Match Arena’ - in memory of the champion from Leeds), 6 English pool tables, 17 American pool tables, together with bars, a conservatory and external patio seating.
The business operates with a full-time manager, with members of the family team involved in front of house, administration, coaching and general management roles.
Chris and June Williamson commented, “As a family, we have invested significantly into the Northern over the years, not simply from a financial perspective, but also in creating a well-established and highly popular venue with a wide range of clientele. It’s time now to pass on the mantle of ownership and there is a fantastic team in place here to assist with the sale process and to ensure as smooth a transition as possible.”
Jon Patrick, Head of Leisure & Development at Christie & Co, added, “It’s comparatively rare these days to come across leisure businesses that have been in the same family ownership for quite as long as the Northern and that is an achievement in itself. The business has evolved over the years to remain at the forefront of its class and is very well maintained throughout with a regular programme of investment each year.
'With a strong trading track record and impressive profitability, we envisage the business will appeal to quite a wide range of buyers, from existing owner/operators, to investors seeking a new venture, to snooker enthusiasts and others associated with the game both here in the UK and further afield, given the number of international players (from Asia in particular) on the world tour.”
The Northern Snooker Centre is available on a long leasehold basis, with a guide price Offers in excess of £750,000.