9th February 2006

Hale Leisure, the bar and pub company run by Simply Red manager Andy Dodd, has sold four city centre bars for £5m.

The deal, which follows other city centre sales at The Reform and Oldham Street’s Dry Bar, means that Hale will now refocus to concentrate on the student drinking scene. Barca in Castlefield, Prague 5 on Canal Street along with nearby Berlins and Glass have been sold to London-based Valleyhill Ltd. The sale sees the end of Hale’s involvement in the city centre.

The sale of Barca is particularly significant. The Castlefield bar had been created with the backing of Simply Red star Mick Hucknall. Earlier this year Hale sold the Reform on King Street to Edinburgh’s Hurricane Restaurant Group.

Andy Dodd, who founded the company in 1995, said: “After almost eight years operating innovative venues in the city, we are confident that Valleyhill’s purchase will ensure continuity for the Hale Leisure legacy, and undoubtedly enhance the leisure offer to the benefit of the people of Manchester.”

Hale are among a number of small, locally-based entrepreneurs who have made a name for themselves in the city’s competitive bar and restaurant scene.