Club refurbishment on the cards at The Function Rooms under new manager Ryan

New Functions Rooms boss Ryan Pennell.
New Functions Rooms boss Ryan Pennell.

After spending three years in the clubbing capital Ibiza, Hemel Hempstead born and bred Ryan Pennell has big plans for a nightclub spot much closer to home.

At just 26 years old he has been promoted from marketing and promotions manager to club boss by The Function Rooms owner Darren Miles.

With a music management degree under his belt Ryan - who has also tried his hand at DJing - plans to shake things up in the new year.

This will include a refurbishment of the club and offering a wider variety of music genres - currently 80s and chart hits are split between two floors.

But Ryan said the changes are not being introduced because the Waterhouse Street business is struggling - in fact it’s quite the opposite with The Function Rooms remaining the town’s busiest night spot. “We are still hitting extremely good numbers. On a Friday and Saturday night we are the busiest venue in town,” he said.

On its busiest night the club is jam packed with up to 700 revellers.

Ryan visited the club as a partygoer himself during trips home from Southampton University.

He said: “Being my home town I know the town very well and obviously all my family live here.

“I like the club and I thought I could do well here and make a difference in the club.”

Big changes at The Function Rooms won’t happen until 2014 but Ryan has already made some ‘tweaks’, including introducing an easy entry policy.

It sees door staff use an iPad system to log the details of revellers so that they do not have to leave home with ID every time they venture out. “We understand that the older clientèle tend not to bring their ID out so, if we believe they are over 21, we can log them in via our iPad system so that we have got their details and pictures,” he said.

Ryan is also marketing and promotions manager for Ollys Bar in nearby Marlowes.