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Wed 8th Apr 2015 - Luminar sees Easter sales rise by more than 20%
Luminar sees Easter sales rise by more than 20%: The Luminar Group, the UK’s largest nightclub operator, has unveiled a like-for-like sales increase over Easter of 21% across its 58-venue estate. Compared to Easter 2014, trading was up 29% in total, and up 21% in comparison to 2013, when the Bank Holiday fell at the end of March, "pay weekend", and the weather was similarly favourable. Luminar’s chief financial officer, Russell Margerrison, said: “Easter is one of those few key calendar events that change every year, with as much as five weeks' disparity. The timing of this year’s Easter and the favourable weather have both helped, but these are strong results under any measure. However, our main focus has been on creating compelling experiences for our customers every trading night, proving that with the right offer there is still upside in the nightclub sector. These results build on our positive start to the new financial year, and we are pleased that our focused investment in our estate and increased spend on our entertainment strategy is paying dividends.”

Gluten-free brewery Bellfield launches crowdfunding push: Bellfield Brewery, which plans to make gluten-free beers and lagers that taste as good as any other craft beer, has launched a crowdfunding push on Crowdcube, looking to raise £150,000 in return for 15% of its equity. So far £70,540 has been pledged by 21 investors. The pitch says: “The first four Bellfield Brewery beers have been produced and are being conditioned, ready for tasting panels in May: an IPA, two lagers and a stout. The founders have signed a collaboration agreement with Herriot Watt University and developed a proposal for a rigorous programme of research and further recipe development during April 2015. The company now wants to scale up its operation by opening the UK's first dedicated gluten-free brewery in Edinburgh. UK distributors and retailers have already expressed an interest in representing Bellfield Brewery and a number of pubs across the UK are keen to stock the company’s products.” The company's founders are Giselle Dye, director of the PR agency, Pagoda PR, whose  partner was diagnosed coeliac in 2000, and Alistair Brown, a director at STV Group, who was diagnosed coeliac in October 2012.

Wrap it Up! to open in Manchester: Wrap it Up!, the healthy eating chain led by Tayub Mushtaq, has secured its first site outside London, on Deansgate in Manchester. The new outlet will be opening in May, to go with the 12 the company already has in the capital, with plans to open a further 12 venues in London this year.  The company is currently  building a new central kitchen in Stratford, East London which will allow it to service up to 100 sites. The chain has now embarked on a Crowdcube campaign to raise £400,000 by giving away 6.25% of its total shareholding, which values the entire enterprise at £6.4m. As of yesterday it was 41% funded, with £164,000 promised, including one investment of £100,000, and 38 days to go.

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