Relief as city bar gets green light to keep on trading

Review: Macs bar on Friargate, Preston
Review: Macs bar on Friargate, Preston
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An under-fire bar, which had been stripped of its licence by council chiefs, has been allowed to keep trading.

Macs Bar in Preston’s Friargate had its licence revoked by Town Hall bosses last year, and an appeal was due to be held in court this week.

Since the hearing in July the owners have worked to ensure the premises operate in a robust and professional manner

Coun David Hammond

But the bar and Preston Council has now reached a deal, meaning Macs can continue to trade.

The premises was first shut down last June, over concerns about disorder outside at closing time.

Andy Mac won an appeal over the decision at Preston Crown Court, but Preston Council then held a separate licensing review, where they decided to revoke the bar’s licence.

Macs reopened between the date of the revocation and the appeal, which was due to be heard this week.

Coun David Hammond, who was chairman of the licensing sub-committee hearing that made the decision to strip the licence, said: “We have agreed suitable licensing conditions with Mac’s Bar.

“Since the hearing in July the owners have worked to ensure the premises operate in a robust and professional manner.

“They have introduced a number of measures and as such, the premises are operating in accordance with licensing objectives - which are essential to ensure the safety of the public.

“It is in the interest of everyone that licensed premises operate well.

“Preston has a strong night time economy and this is important to a growing city like Preston.

“People want a good but also a safe night out and we expect Mac’s Bar to offer this to its customers.”

Sgt Tony Bushell, of Lancashire Police’s licensing team in Preston, added: “As a result of the review, the operators have changed the management of the premises and implemented new operating procedures.

“We have maintained close communication with the premises since July and as such are now satisfied that the premises is promoting the licensing objectives.

“In light of this we have, in consultation with the operators and Preston City Council, imposed a number of conditions on the licence which going forward will assist in the operation of the premises.”

Bar owner Andy Mac welcomed the decision. He said: “I’m very happy that my club gets to remain open.

“To have come to Preston to study in 2002 and make a life here it would of really saddened me to lose a club I worked so hard for.

“On one hand I’m relieved, but on the other I think it’s ridiculous that my club and I had our names dragged through the mud like we did. We did have a great result and I’m thankful for the council bosses who agreed to keep me open.”