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Kensington Roof Gardens closes after 37 years due to rising costs

Virgin said it was struggling to make a profit at the Grade II listed site, famous for its flamingoes

Pictured: The Roof Gardens

Kensington Roof Gardens has closed its doors after 37 years due to rising costs and concerns over profitability.

The party venue’s operator, Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, said it was struggling to make a profit at the Grade II listed site, which has long been a favourite with event organisers and partygoers.

A statement on the Virgin Limited Edition website said: “Virgin Limited Edition has occupied The Roof Gardens as a tenant since 1981. For over 35 years it has played a key part in the London nightlife scene, showcasing top DJs and live musical talent from across the decades as well as hosting numerous events, showbiz parties, award ceremonies, weddings and dinners in its award winning restaurant Babylon.

“In an ever changing London market The Roof Gardens has stood the test of time but in the face of unpredictable market conditions and a challenge to remain profitable, we feel that the time has come for us to close our doors.

“We are certain The Roof Gardens will continue to be one of London’s most spectacular and extraordinary landmarks and look forward to seeing what’s next for this beautiful venue.”

The venue’s 85 staff were told that they were being made redundant as they returned to work after Christmas.

Mini Vohra, MD of high-end agency Cornucopia Events, said: “Roof Gardens was one of London’s most iconic venues. An outstanding oasis in the heart of London, it housed one of the best nightclubs in the world. I built my business from the nightclub industry and after 16 years Cornucopia Events has become a global event powerhouse offering lifestyle, concierge and event solutions to billionaires. Still, Roof Gardens remained one of my favourite places to party. I have so many memories there from as recently as three weeks ago and I commend the venue and the staff for what can only be described as the highest levels of professionalism.”

Virgin has confirmed that anyone who paid a deposit to host a private event at the venue will have their money returned.

Anyone who has a booking at the venue should visit for more information.

  • Sally Johnson 05/01/2018

    Totally agree and would add that location was a likely problem for them with hotels like the Ace, the Curtain, the Ned offering outdoor roof space to lure the nearby City and Canary Wharf spend. I think Roof Gardens couldn't compete with that.

  • Dean Tailor of DPT Legal Training & Events, Ltd 04/01/2018

    I can't say I'm surprised. There are nicer, newer, and better managed venues competing in this particular sector and at that price point, people demand a better product and level of service.

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