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Fears Newcastle Strip Club Plans Could Marr City Centre’s New Station Development – Article by the Evening Chronicle

4th March 2015

Plans for a new strip club at the heart of a multi-million pound redevelopment of Newcastle have been slammed.

For Your Eyes Only Ltd has applied for sexual entertainment and premises licences for what is currently The Den nightclub, in the basement of Baron House, opposite Central Station.

Bosses hope the Purple Door club could be open by April and create 100 jobs and would contribute to the nighttime economy, but questions have been raised such a business amid the Neville and Grainger Street “gateway” to the city would give visitors the wrong impression.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird said: “Newcastle City Council has worked hard to regenerate the day time and night time economy and must be congratulated on their successes – But venues like strip clubs create the wrong image and do not support the regeneration of the city.

“I hope those who make the decision on this application reflect on the image and reputation of such places and how they can have a detrimental effect on the great work that has taken place over the last few years to make Newcastle a family friendly city.”

Plans for the new club show its main area would include two stages – one of which would be almost 50ft long – 15 private booths, six ‘VIP’ two-seat booths, 15 “floor” tables with seating for 64 customers, and 18 booth tables with seats.

A mezzanine level would include a ‘VIP’ area with seven booth tables around an almost 5m long stage.

Reverend Nicholas Buxton, priest-in-charge of of St John the Baptist church, opposite Baron House, said he would be objecting to the application – but not on the grounds of morality.

“My objection will be on the basis that its somewhere that you first see on arrival into Newcastle,” he said. “We’re having a whole new station area, with a new hotel and a lot of positive developments that improve the city environment with a view to making a more positive first impression for people coming up here.

“And you have to ask the question – is a strip club the sort of image that we want for city visitors?

“I know that one attraction of Newcastle for some people is a strong nighttime economy, but where do we draw the line and say enough is enough?

“I’m not suggesting a blanket ban on this industry, and this isn’t a matter of being morally prudish, it’s about the perceptions and in this location I believe it would create a bad impression.”

Millions of pounds has been pumped in to transforming the area around Newcastle’s Central Station.

In total around £8.6m has been spent on the station itself, with much more on Neville St, Westgate Road and the lower part of Grainger Street, where the Purple Door would be based.