This article first appeared in the Manchester Evening News on Monday 13th May. You can view it here.
Bosses at the Printworks club have applied to extend their current opening hours by two hours on Friday and Saturday nights.
A nightclub with one of the highest police call-outs in Manchester wants to stay open until 5.30am.
Bosses at Tiger Tiger in the Printworks have applied to extend their current opening hours by two hours on Friday and Saturday nights.
The Withy Grove venue also wants to increase serving alcohol from 3am until 5am.
The M.E.N. revealed on Saturday that police and council chiefs are considering hitting bars with a ‘late-night tax’ to cover the cost of policing the city centre at weekends.
This year, we reported on a list of Greater Manchester pubs, clubs and bars with the highest number of police call- outs. Tiger Tiger had the second highest number over two years – at 496.
Bosses at the club, and pub and club industry leaders, argued the figures were misleading and included incidents in the streets around the venue.
Tiger Tiger was named Best Bar None venue – an award for security and safety – four years running, a spokesman said.
But city centre councillor Kev Peel is writing to town hall licensing bosses objecting to Tiger Tiger’s application over fears of increased booze-related violence and disorder.
Coun Peel said: “It’s just not on. Closing times keep getting later and later. A lot of serious and violent crime happens after 3am, when people are so drunk they’re out of control. It’s going to cause more problems by 5.30am.”
He said he would call on city centre residents to make their feelings known at the town hall.
Information released by Greater Manchester Police showed that Tiger Tiger had 496 call-outs over two years, with 280 for 2012, and 216 for 2011.
The offences included robbery/theft, assaults and rowdy behaviour. The highest month was September 2012, when police were called out 39 times.
City centre chief Coun Pat Karney said: “I will look at this licence application very carefully. We are keeping an eye on all late-night venues in the city centre, particularly those with a large number of police call-outs.”
Phil Burke, spokesman for Manchester Pub and Club Network, warned against police figures, stating the call-out numbers include incidents on the streets around the venue and not just inside. He said licensing teams could ‘kill the night-time economy by stifling successful and responsible bars’.
He said: “If venues want to stay open until 5.30am, fine. There are plenty of conditions the council can use to make sure they keep in line with their licence and act responsibly.”
Information released by GMP shows officers were called to more than 4,000 venues a total of 56,298 times over the two years – 29,884 in 2011 and dropping to 26,414 in 2012.
5th Avenue on Princess Street in the city centre topped the list.
Tiger Tiger only plan to extend their opening hours to 5.30am on Friday and Saturday nights, with the venue closing at 3.30am on Sunday to Thursday.
A bar spokesman said: “Tiger Tiger has been established for 14 years , is Manchester’s busiest and biggest venue with 700,000 customers through the door per year and is also a local landmark. It is a very successful business, supports the local economy employing 150 people, pays its taxes and is a hugely popular element of the city’s nightlife
“This is a best-in-class run club with an enviable record built on high standards that works hand in glove with the Manchester authorities including the police.
“Tiger Tiger has been acclaimed Best Bar None four years in a row in recognition of its status as Manchester’s safest and best-run venue.”