Norths Collective CEO Luke Simmons at Seagulls, Tweed Heads. Picture: Grant Jones


Norths Collective will take over Tully Heard’s Acre operation at Artarmon, with the club-based hospitality operation’s CEO revealing it is on an aggressive growth path. The news follows last week’s Club Management story that revealed Norths Collective is currently in amalgamation discussions with Bangalow Bowling Club and in early merger talks with Killara Bowlo.

In an exclusive interview with Norths Collective’s Luke Simmons at their Seagulls venue in Tweed Heads, the CEO revealed that discussions about the non-club Artarmon property at Home HQ had only recently taken place following a ClubCo board meeting.

Both Luke and Tully Heard Director John Tully are on the board of e-wholesaler ClubCo, which is owned by several club groups, and supplies the club and hospitality industry with a broad range of hospitality products.

“John wouldn’t have rung me 10 years ago to take this on. He wouldn’t have seen this as a legacy that he would have wanted to put in someone else’s hands,” said Luke who compared the offer with opening a Christmas present, while not coming across as too excited.

One of the outdoor spaces at Acre in Artarmon. Picture: Grant Jones

The pair have had a strong relationship with Tully Heard introducing The Pantry dining concept to Norths Cammeray and Norths Collective establishing The Greens, North Sydney in a collaboration with Tully Heard in 2014.

“Tully Heard have a lot going on,” Luke says. “It was just a real open conversation about where they were looking to spend their focus on over the next couple of years and the opportunity for us to reach the right arrangement where they could get on with the many other things they had on and we could take the Acre business to the desired level where they saw it initially.”

Tully Heard recently relinquished Acre at Camperdown Commons back to Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL but Tully Heard still has Acre at Burwood Brickworks in Victoria.

“That’s what’s great about Luke Simmons, where they (Norths Collective) are going, they’re great how they activate their clubs and pool markets that are relevant to the area,” John Tully told Club Management.

The Glasshouse, Artarmon now joins Norths Collective’s Norths, Cammeray; The Verandah, Beecroft; The Greens, North Sydney and The Alcott, Lane Cove. Norths Collective also operates Seagulls, Tweed Heads, which is in the middle of plans for some new offerings. Norths also operates fitness centres, Norths Fitness in Sydney and Revolution Fitness on the Tweed and Gold Coast regions.

“(All the venues) still celebrate what the club ethos is in bringing people together and having that connection to all forms of community. And community doesn’t mean just one group of people. We have a number of different communities in the catchment and Norths Collective connecting our community is largely focussed on the people, delivering for the people,” Luke said.

“As long as we maintain relevance, with the design ambience, the renovations, I guess the de-clubbing of the traditional view of when someone walks into a property, they won’t know it and feel it like it used to be as a club,” he said.

But The Glasshouse, Artarmon, Bangalow and Killara bowlos are not expected to be last on the amalgamation or acquisition list.

“I’d say there’s 10 conversations in all directions at the moment and the big, important decisions for us will be the ones we will say no to.”

Meanwhile, Tully Heard is focussing on relaunching the Tomakin Sporting Club on the Far South Coast as The Patch which has a soft opening this week.

  • Read the full story on Tully Heard’s The Patch launch and Norths Collective’s Acre Artarmon transaction in the next issue of Club Management Magazine. Subscribe now.
Acre at Artarmon on opening in November 2020. Picture: Grant Jones

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