MORE than 200 people have signed up to show their support for a town centre nightclub owner who said he is being pushed out of Accrington by mindless vandals.
Mick Cookson has threatened to pull out of the town for good after thugs caused about £200,000 worth of damage to the roof of Opium on Willow Street.
In an exclusive Observer interview last week he said the damage was the last straw and he was considering shutting up shop forever.
The club was temporarily closed in 2004 following a roof fire.
But a lengthy battle with his insurance company meant that Mr Cookson was unable to re-open the club and in the meantime vandals struck.
Following the Observer article, former Opium doorman Graham MacGregor launched a campaign to highlight the support of the local community.
A total of 250 signatures have so far been collected with comments such as: "Accy needs better nightlife", "This town needs a boost" and "Hurry up and save the town".
Mr MacGregor said: "I was amazed by the response. This club is needed without a shadow of a doubt. Opium was an electrifying club and it is missed badly.
"The nightlife in Accrington is no good, it's gone downhill and people are sick of it."
Mr Cookson said he appreciated the support of the public but the club's future was now in the hands of the insurance company.
He added: "The support has been fantastic and I am now prepared to fight on and get the club up and running again.
"It makes me happy that after two years people feel there is still a need for it. It makes a lot of difference to me. I am definitely keen to move forward as long as everyone continues to support me. We are just keeping our fingers crossed now."