Switch nightclub will ‘be investigated’ after its reopening makes national news

Posted on - 3rd August, 2020 - 8:07pm | Author - | Posted in - Business, Nightlife, Preston City Centre, Preston Council, Preston News
Inside Switch's reopening night
Capacity was limited and signs warned revellers not to dance Pic: Switch

Switch is set to be investigated by Preston City Council after alleged video of the nightclub’s reopening night was shared on social media.

The city centre spot was at the centre of a ‘will-they-won’t-they’ saga on Saturday, which made the national news.

Late in the afternoon, news broke that Switch would reopen, despite confirmation just hours earlier that it had been banned from doing so.

The video seen on social media said to be from inside the club’s reopening has prompted Preston City Council enforcement officers to investigate, according to a statement posted on Twitter at 2.32pm on Monday (4 August).

However, a statement from Switch claimed the video was “misleading” and that rumours of a packed dancefloor are “purely false”. The club also shared images that it says supports this.

Inside Switch's reopening
Seated tables were one of Switch’s safety measures Pic: Switch

The Switch statement said: “On Sunday 2nd August 2020 a social media snapchat video (filmed on what be believe to be a fake account) came to the venues attention. It was filmed in poor quality showing (some girls dancing and dark images of waste height people within SWITCH). The video was poor quality and the angle that it was filmed (waste height) is very misleading and does not show a true picture of what the experience was like inside SWITCH on Saturday.

“There has also been comments made along the lines of ‘Crowds of people on the Dancefloor’ and ‘Everyone was dancing on the Dancefloor’. This information is purely false. With an extensive CCTV system inside the venue, CCTV images clearly show the venues amazing customer base adhering to social distancing and maintaining the venue safety guidelines throughout their visit.

“Today (Monday 3rd August 2020) the SWITCH Managing Director had sent a report of Saturdays opening at SWITCH to Preston City Council (as promised) with reply confirming that PCC was pleased with the implementation of the Covid Control Measures at SWITCH and that they had reviewed the social media video’s and have no concerns that they wish to follow-up at this time.” [sic]

Switch nightclub Pic: Tony Worrall
Switch nightclub made the national news Pic: Tony Worrall

In the Council’s Twitter post, Councillor Peter Moss, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Planning and Regulations, said: “The situation with Switch re-opening this weekend brought us a lot of attention and we would like to provide further information.

“Having received further guidance from the Government’s Office for Product Safety and Standards on Friday, we informed the operator of Switch that they would no longer be able to reopen 1 August.

“Lawyers acting on behalf of the operators challenged this position on the basis that the venue was repurposing as a seated bar, which are legally allowed to open under the current Regulations.

“The Council sought legal advice from a highly experienced barrister. It was determined that the operator of Switch was legally able to repurpose and open as a bar, provided they followed strict safety precautions, including not providing a space for dancing.

“During the evening of 1 August, our enforcement officers made 2 separate visits to the venue – each time working with the operator to make necessary changes. We are aware of the videos that are circulating on social media and officers will investigate the situation.”

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