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Police object to Guild Hall late night alcohol bid

Posted on - 14th October, 2016 - 12:49pm | Author - | Posted in - Lancashire Police, News
How the Lord Street entrance to the Guild Hall may look

How the Lord Street entrance to the Guild Hall may look

Guild Hall plans to become a popular nightspot could be in trouble after police raised concerns with the proposal.

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Bosses at Guild Hall want to serve alcohol until 6am and have a 24-hour opening but police have objected to the application.

The venue is undergoing significant changes under the ownership of Simon Rigby and they believe the proposal is key to their vision.

Licensing sergeant Tony Bushell said: “The plans are a massive investment in Preston and will put it on the map.

“However, we believe the vision encapsulating a 6am licence and 24-hour opening may put Preston on the map for the wrong reasons and may undermine what they are trying to achieve.”

A letter submitted to Preston Council’s licensing committee from Sgt Bushell read: “The result of large numbers of customers who would be in drink leaving these premises would impact on crime and disorder in the city centre and would have a significant effect on persons whose work requires them to come into the city centre at that time.

“This application, if granted, would also fuel the need for other premises operating within the city centre to seek later hours in order to compete.

“This would therefore further increase the numbers of persons who were either in drink or drunk in the area which again would have the knock on effect of increasing crime and disorder.”

Under the proposal, restaurants would still close at 10pm as normal.

Richard Simkin, head of operations at the Guild Hall, said that the application was not intended to target 24-hour drinking and would only be used for specific events.

He said: “The licence will help to secure the future of the complex and the city needs this venue.
“The police quite rightly so have their concerns but we have proven we can do it and we are one of, if not the safest venue in the city.
“We hope for the correct result on Friday and any other venues looking on have to be taken into consideration on their own merit.
“We want to be able to stagger the times from midnight until 6am when people leave.
“There are already venues within Preston who have 6am so the flood will not open as I guess they already are.
“It is not always financially viable to open for do long so this could be a factor for the such few a number to date.”
Additional reporting by Olivia Baron

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