A NIGHTCLUB and restaurant could be turned into a £1.3million live entertainment venue after it was put up for sale.

Churchills, in Tylers Avenue, Southend, has been put on the market with Qdos Entertainment, the firm which runs the Cliffs Pavilion and the Palace Theatre, Westcliff, believed to have expressed an interest.

A number of other nightclub operators, including some from London, are also in talks over the venue.

Gerard Biagioni, of estate agent Dedman Gray, said: “We have a lot of interest being shown by high-profile operators, some local. We have one inquiry from a local night-time activity owner, a lot from London and a group that owns a number of nightclubs and entertainment venues.”

Churchills is owned by Richard Shea, who also owns Southend nightspots Mayhem, in Warrior Square and Legends, formally Mansion, in Elmer Approach, and the Tiger Lilly bar, in Leigh Road, Leigh.

But in February, the businessman, of Long Meadows, Brentwood, said he was struggling to make a profit from nightclubs.

Mr Shea, whose main company Shea Properties once had a portfolio worth £25million, now wants to offload Churchills, or lease it to an operator long-term.

He has been renting it to Alastair Weatherstone until a long-term leaseholder is found.

The venue, which has a ground floor, mezzanine and garden with patio, is licensed to serve 620 people until 4am on Fridays and Saturdays.

Mr Shea, who was unavailable for comment yesterday, pledged to rejuvenate Churchills when he bought it from Regent Inns for an undisclosed sum in 2008.

Ian Wilson, of Qdos Entertainment, said: “We’re not in a position to say anything about Churchills at this stage as we have yet to see the venue, so any comment would be premature.”