An Aberdeen city centre pub has been granted later opening hours.
Owners of Slains Castle on Belmont Street asked Aberdeen City Council’s licensing board if it could sell alcohol until 2am from Thursday to Sunday – an hour later than it currently does.
Police Scotland and NHS Grampian had both objected to the move but later withdrew their concerns after the owners agreed to start selling alcohol at noon on those days rather than 11am.
The pub had initially applied to start its licensing hours from 11am but this would have taken the hours of continuous trading to 15 hours – above the council’s policy of 14.
Members of the board unanimously agreed yesterday to approve the application, which also includes the creation of a dance floor area.
Solicitor Jack Cummins added that the pub puts on significant entertainment with acoustic live music on Thursday and Sunday nights, as well as live music on Friday night and a DJ on Saturday night.
He said the midnight closing time was a “major obstacle” in attracting customers who “like this sort of music but not clubbing”.
He added: “We know that Garage on Windmill Brae closed at the beginning of May and they stated the difficulty in attracting acts. This demonstrates the fragility of the night-time economy.”
Mr Cummins also said the pub is thinking about introducing “late night bites” such as pizza and snacks. He added: “This might encourage certain customers to get home and not wander the streets in search of a kebab.”
Lorna McCarroll, manager of the venue, said: “This is absolutely fantastic; it will give us the extra trading hours and create between two to four new jobs.
“This will cover live music on two nights and on the other nights there is a DJ so it’s a good offering for those that are in the city centre.”
Meanwhile, members of the board also learned that an application by nightclub Institute Aberdeen on Bridge Place had been approved by council officers. This would reduce the venue’s capacity to 1,540 and see it renamed Atik in the revamp.
A spokeswoman for The Deltic Group, which runs the venue, said: “We are currently in planning stages for the Institute Aberdeen, with significant investment proposed to revamp the venue over the summer.”