'More flexible' opening hours agreed for Northampton lap dancing club

A lap dancing club in Northampton has been allowed to extend its trading hours by councillors, but they rejected the possibility of a 10am opening time.

Thursday, 12th December 2019, 6:26 am
Updated Thursday, 12th December 2019, 6:54 am
Urban Tiger will open until later after having its licence altered

Urban Tiger, on Wellingborough Road, had requested an extension to its current daily trading hours of 8pm until 4am under its ‘sex entertainment venue’ licence.

The club proposed ‘more flexible’ opening hours of 10am until 4.30am on Monday to Wednesday, from 10am to 6am on Thursday to Saturday, and from noon until 2.30am on Sunday. It also wanted to open from 10am until 6am on any day prior to a public bank holiday.

Members of Northampton Borough Council’s licensing committee unanimously approved the proposed closing times, but had concerns over the new opening times. Instead, they agreed for the club to open at 6pm every day instead of 8pm.

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The club has said it will not allow any customers to be admitted onto the premises after 4am, and would also stop serving alcohol between 15 to 30 minutes before closing time.

As well as acting as a lap dancing club, Urban Tiger has also held themed evenings with celebrities. Former England footballers John Barnes and Paul Merson have been among those to hold Q&A events at the venue in the past.

Speaking at the licensing meeting on Tuesday (December 10) at The Guildhall, Councillor Sally Beardsworth asked what activities the club was proposing to do at 10am. She said it was ‘quite early for a nightclub’ but was told by representatives of the venue that there ‘would not be any lap dancing at 10am’.

Instead, the members were told, it would allow the flexibility to potentially open for other purposes such as if sports matches were being televised early in the morning from the other side of the world.

Paul McManus, a director of Urban Crowd Ltd which owns the premises, said: “Since starting the earliest we have opened is 6pm. If there was a World Cup match on or something like that we could open, but we wouldn’t really need it. I don’t mind if that is curtailed and we are not proposing to open before 6pm.”

Councillor Beardsworth responded: “If you have a special event you can always apply for a special event licence. I would be happier if it opened later.”

After deliberating in private, the councillors told the applicants of the new opening hours that would be applied to their licence.

Chairman of the committee, Councillor Penny Flavell, said: “It’s not quite what they asked for, but it was a unanimous decision and it is what we felt was appropriate.”