4am closing time for club would lead to ‘significant change in Aberdeen nightlife’

Police Scotland said an application to allow a nightclub to stay open until 4am could “set a precedent” across the city.

Bosses at Redemption in Belmont Street have applied to the licensing board asking to extend its opening hours on Fridays and Saturdays from 3am to 4am.

Last year, when the club was known as The Priory, the local authority refused its application to operate beyond 3am.

The new application is due to be decided by councillors next week but Police Scotland, NHS Grampian and licensing officers have all expressed concerns about the move, saying it could set a “precedent” across the city.

Operations manager Steve Wiseman said: “The additional hour would take us an hour closer to the time that casinos close.

“They are licensed until 6am in the morning.

“We’re not asking for anything that other premises don’t currently get.

“We have injected money into the venue and we believe that this is an essential part of improving the viability of trade there.”

Mr Wiseman added that three quarters of alcohol sales are sold by off-licenses.

He said: “No one knows who is getting that drink.

“We’re held to account for every drink we sell.

“Hopefully the board are minded to see Belmont as a unique location.”

A letter by Chief Constable Philip Gormley, on behalf of Police Scotland, said if the application is granted, it could result in nearly a thousand revellers going to food outlets and using transport after 4am on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Mr Gormley added Police Scotland regularly deploys 30 additional officers on Friday and Saturday nights to police the city centre and said any change to operating hours would impact upon the deployment of resources.

He said: “Were the board to grant this application, it would set a precedent and is likely to result in other, similar premises seeking similar variations to their own trading hours.”

NHS Grampian has said the extension of hours for the sale of alcohol could have “detrimental effects to health”.

The health board added that the proposed extension would mean patrons would be leaving the club during a period when support services, such as Street Pastors and Taxi Marshalls, are standing down.

Aberdeen City Council licensing officers have advised elected members that the move “would set precedence” for other late night premises and would lead “to a significant change to the nightlife” of Aberdeen.

Aberdeen City Centre Community Council has also objected to the application.

The club has a capacity of 943 people. Members of the licensing board will consider the application on Tuesday.