A NIGHTCLUB owner has revealed details of a £1m investment tipped to revitalise a city's night life.

But he has warned that it could go further downhill if a price war on cheap drinks develops.

Vimac Leisure, which owns DH-1 and Caf Rock, on North Road, Durham, plans to spend £1m on refurbishing both venues.

In the first £500,000 phase, due to start in early June, DH-1 will be given a new entrance, walkway and bar, modern lighting, dancefloors and furnishings.

It will close for about three months to allow for the work, before the second phase begins on Caf Rock, due to be finished in time for next Christmas.

This will include the venue changing its name and being restyled to feature different themes on the two floors.

It will play R&B downstairs and party music upstairs, in contrast with DH-1, which will play Ibiza-style dance tunes.

Paul Mackings, managing director of Vimac Leisure, said the newly-refurbished nightclubs would rival the region's best.

"We are using Blueprint, one of the top nightclub designers in the country, and it will be a magnificent standard of finish," he said.

"The nightclubs will be very modern, up-to-date and chic, and would be able to hold their own in any big city, including Sunderland and Newcastle."

Mr Mackings admitted that since Caf Rock opened in the mid 1990s, and DH-1 soon afterwards, little had been done to alter them, leaving them badly in need of refurbishment.

He denied that the £1m programme was in response to the imminent conversion of The Robins cinema, next door to Caf Rock, to a Walkabout Australian theme bar.

"We bought DH-1 and Caf Rock just over a year ago and it was always our intention to refurbish," he said.

He warned that despite the investment, the influx of new pubs into Durham could add to problems of drunken disorder by offering cut-price drinks.

"The main thing we have got to watch in Durham is cheap drinks," he said.

"Whether we spend £1m or nothing, it's not going to change our clientele, and already we are seeing prices dropping."