Falkirk pub and club given extended festive opening hours

Falkirk Council’s licensing board agreed to Behind the Wall and City Nightclub staying open for an extra hour for various party nights.

Earlier this year the board had agreed extra festive hours for all licensed premises to cover the Christmas and New Year period which meant they have had to deal with very few applications.

However, City Nightclub asked if it could extend its closing time to 3am on Thursday, December 19, Sunday, December 22 and Sunday, December 29.

A representative of owners Castle Leisure Group told councillors that many people in Falkirk no longer work  traditional days or hours and Sunday and Thursday events were now very popular.

Danielle McRorie-Smith told councillors: “We have found an increasing number of people from the health and beauty and the gym trade are booking party nights with us and they don’t work traditional Monday to Friday hours.

“Whether they have their party night on a Thursday or a Friday, we feel that they should enjoy the same length of entertainment.”

She also argued that many surrounding areas have licences until 3am and argued that they did not want to lose trade to other towns.

Councillor Niall Coleman was keen for the board to stick to the policy already agreed but other councillors felt the modest change was a reasonable request and agreed to the extended hours.

Councillor Coleman, the board’s convener, also voted to turn down an application from Behind the Wall when the Melville Street pub asked permission to add an extra hour to two events.

The first, said owner Brian Flynn, was for a local band The Pleasureheads on Sunday, December 29,  with a finish of 1 am.

The second, the following night, was for a DJ and dance, also ending at 1am.

Mr Flynn told the board that the venue was increasingly moving away from live music and was much more food-orientated now.

He said: “We were approached by young, local musicians called the Pleasureheads, who wanted to put on a Christmas show.

“Really, it will just complete the season between Christmas and New Year when there are more people out and about.”

While Councillor Coleman was reluctant to change the policy, Councillor Allyson Black said she felt it was a modest request that would support a local band so she supported it.

After a vote, the extra hour was agreed for both events, with Councillor Coleman commenting: “I clearly need to get more festive cheer at this time of year!”