Former home of three different Preston nightclubs to become games arcade

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A former Preston city centre night spot will be turned into an adult gaming arcade after the conversion got the go-ahead from council planners.

The venue, on Friargate South, existed in three guises over the course of almost a decade - first opening as MACs in 2011, before a brief spell as Placebo seven years later and, finally, ending its days as Krush Sports Bar and Nightclub.

It shut in its final incarnation - when it was also known for staging boxing and wrestling matches, as well as live music - after the onset of the pandemic in 2020. The premises, close to the junction with Ringway, have been vacant ever since.

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Preston City Council planning officers have now approved a proposal to open an arcade in the building after concluding that it was an appropriate use for the ground floor property and would not cause any greater disturbance than its previous operation as a club.

The ground floor of the premises is to be converted into a gaming centreThe ground floor of the premises is to be converted into a gaming centre
The ground floor of the premises is to be converted into a gaming centre

Applicant Jozef Dzuga said the new venture would create a dozen new jobs and documents submitted to the town hall stated that the proposal was responding to “a known market demand”.

However, the sole objector to the plans noted that it would be the third gaming outlet within 200 metres - claiming that it amounted to “an over-concentration” of such facilities in that part of the city centre.

They added that the business would be of “detriment to vulnerable citizens”, whom the city council has a duty to protect - and said the authority should be trying to attract retailers or restaurants to the area, which is surrounded by empty properties.

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Addressing the comments, planning officer Megan Stewart said in her assessment of the application that “issues associated with gambling generally are not material planning considerations and therefore cannot be taken into account”. But she noted that the business would be required to operate according to gambling legislation.

Her report added that the proposal would bring a vacant unit back into use and she decided that it would neither be necessary nor reasonable to attach a condition restricting the opening hours of the arcade.