Newcastle bar reopens after police relax rules
A TOWN centre bar can now reopen after its owners reached an agreement with police.
EFB Leisure carrying out a "six-figure" refurbishment of the former Brassingtons bar, in Newcastle, which has been closed for at least a month.
Walsall-based EFB can now open the bar until 2.30am every night, with alcohol on sale up until to 2am.
It had wanted Newcastle Borough Council to waive an existing last entries policy which stops anyone being admitted after 1am.
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The policy had been in force following a licence review in 2010, after 150 violent incidents were reported in 18 months at the premises when it was under a previous owner.
Police opposed the licensing application, saying there has been a significant reduction in the number of incidents in the town since the condition was imposed.
The matter was due to be decided by members of the council's licensing sub-committee, but the police withdrew their application after negotiations with solicitors representing the venue.
The agreement means revellers have to be inside the venue at least 30 minutes before last orders on Friday and Saturday, with the 1am policy in place on other days.
Sergeant Dave Wright, of Staffordshire Police's licensing unit, said: "New management took over the venue in December and we have held meetings with them, where we have said we want to see certain things change at the venue to continue to reduce crime and disorder.
"Last admissions were at 1am but we have relaxed that a little now as the venue continues to improve and work with the police.
"We thought it would be beneficial to re-brand the venue to shake off the old image that it had and we welcome the investment.
"Hopefully over the next few months we will see the venue totally re-branded."
The bar will be known as Indi Bar when it reopens.
Latest police figures show 168 violent crimes were committed across Newcastle borough between April and June, compared with 152 over the same period last year.
EFB Leisure was unavailable to comment.