'Everything is stacked against' success of Jersey's nighttime industry, club owner warns

Rojo is set to close its doors for the last time in early 2024 after nearly 20 years as part of Jersey's nightlife. Credit: ITV Channel

A popular Jersey nightclub is closing its doors after nearly 20 years, saying "everything is stacked against" the island having a vibrant nighttime economy.

Rojo has operated from its current St Helier location on Beresford Street for the last 11 years and was on Bond Street for eight years before that.

But the club's owners have confirmed in a post on social media that the club will close in early 2024.

The decision to shut was said to be down to several factors, including the rising cost of living "making nights out a thing of the past" for some, restrictive licencing laws and the rising wholesale drinks costs.

The post says: "We have an outdated licensing law that reflects the conservative and risk-averse culture of the island. Everything is stacked against having a vibrant nighttime industry.

"Most young people choose to save their money and go away for a weekend to destinations in the UK and Europe where there is so much on offer and who can blame them?

"Young people also pre-drink before coming into town as it’s simply too expensive to buy a drink. That is the young people that are still here - so many are leaving."

The news triggered an outpouring of support for the club on social media, with Jersey residents bemoaning the collapse of a once-thriving industry.

One person described the closure as "heartbreakingly tragic", adding "We were so lucky in the 80s & 90s when Jersey had a soul and was full of life - entertainment seems to be a negative on this island nowadays."

They called on the government to modernise and relax the "suffocating and overbearing red tape" that risks turning Jersey into "a lifeless cultural desert" overnight.

Another said: "This is so sad, but unfortunately a reflection of the island as a whole at the moment… local businesses aren’t supported and so much stacked against them in one way or another."

Want to find out more about the stories making the headlines? Don't miss Channelcast - the Channel Islands current affairs podcast brought to you by ITV News: