Great Britain

Alcohol licence granted to Denholme Mechanics Institute

COUNCILLORS have granted a licence that will allow alcohol to be served at a community hub in Denholme.

At a meeting of the Bradford District Licensing Panel yesterday members were told that the Denholme Mechanics Institute was an important venue for the town, and an alcohol licence would allow it to hold events such as birthday parties.

Lauren Tordoff, who runs functions and events in the building, had applied for a licence to serve alcohol to be consumed in the building between 5pm and 11pm on Monday to Thursday, from 2pm to 11pm on Friday and from 1pm to 11pm on weekends.

Three people had objected to the application, meaning it had to go before a Council panel, which met in City Hall.

Objectors had raised concerns about the sale of alcohol in a building that was used for regular children’s clubs, and over possible noise nuisance from drinkers.

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But none of the objectors attended yesterday’s meeting.

The Mechanics Institute was run by Bradford Council until two years ago, when it was transferred to the DMI Community Centre charity, which took on responsibility for the building through an Asset Transfer. It was part of the Council’s cost cutting measures.

Craig Burman, who was speaking on behalf of Miss Tordoff, said: “It is a community asset and we intend to keep it as such. Through the sale of alcohol we will be able to cater for a wider section of the community than we do now.

“Since 2017 it has been transitioned from a Council run facility to a trust set up. It was a casualty of austerity and cost cutting, but it is a vital piece of the community that everyone has been fighting to save.

“Miss Tordoff decided to start children’s activities in the building - there is nothing for teenagers of younger children in the area. She started running arts classes and a youth group.

“There was a need for events for adults as well. This has led to adult classes and events like 21st birthdays, wedding receptions, Christening parties, 80s nights, quiz nights, baby showers.

“If offers the community something they didn’t have before and they didn’t have to travel for.

“Alcohol is an important ingredient for such events as people expect it to be available.”

He said similar events in the venue had operated off temporary events licences, and there had been no complaints from residents after these events.

Members of the panel were told that alcohol would not be served while unaccompanied children were in the premises, and the bar area would be covered during children’s clubs and events.

There would also be CCTV installed.

After a short deliberation the panel voted to grant the licence.

After the meeting Miss Tordoff said: “There was nothing like this in the area before I started the business.

“Everyone we’ve spoken to loves it. We are having people come as far as Manchester, the events we have bring more people into Denholme.

“Apart from these objections we’ve never had any complaints - the police have never been called out and we’ve never had any negative feedback.”

She said her business had invested a large amount in the facility, and that all the staff were local.

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