Club scraps plan for 6am drinking
A GAY nightspot has abandoned plans to serve booze until as late as 6am after police raised concerns about the plans.
The Factory had applied to Stoke-on-Trent City Council for permission to stage six separate events, which each involved drinking until at least 4am.
A hearing was due to take place earlier this week, when Stoke-on-Trent City Council's licensing committee was expected to make a ruling over the application.
But the meeting was cancelled after the Hanley night spot withdrew its application in the face of police opposition.
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Sergeant Dave Wright, licensing manager of Staffordshire Police's northern licensing unit, said: "We had concerns about the high number of incidents at the venue, and extending the hours can only serve to make it worse.
"The club has got quite significant hours anyway. It opens until 4am, and this was looking to extend the drinking hours until 5am or 6am, and those are significant operating hours.
"We try to reduce the impact of alcohol-related crime and disorder and we didn't feel it was acceptable, especially given the high number of incidents at the venue. It's not the worst, but there's room for improvement.
"Policing is stretched because the venue is that bit further out from the main area of policing, which is around Trinity Street and Brunswick Street. The Factory is also a venue with a large capacity.
"After 4am, our resources become very stretched because we are dealing with prisoners who have been arrested in the city centre."
The nightclub, in Bryan Street, wanted to host a foam party on May 5, which would see clubbers drinking and partying at the venue until 5am. The foam party is still going ahead, but it will now end at 4am. Two days later, the club hoped to celebrate the bank holiday by serving booze until 4am.
The Factory had also applied for a temporary licence over the Diamond Jubilee weekend, June 2 and June 3, to allow clubbers to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Queen's coronation until 5am.
The club's next red letter day takes place on September 2, when owners wanted to serve alcohol until 6am in celebration of its second birthday.
It had also asked for permission to remain open until 5am on Christmas Day, and to ring in the new year until 6am.
The Factory, described as Staffordshire's, 'biggest and best gay club', was unavailable for comment last night.
It opened two years ago at the former Rosie O'Brien's Pumphouse, which once formed part of defunct nightclub The Place.
Midlands Zone Readers last year named The Factory as the region's number one gay nightclub outside of Birmingham.