Victory for Macs bar – for now

Mac's Bar in Friargate, Preston'Macs Bar
Mac's Bar in Friargate, Preston'Macs Bar
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A PRESTON nightclub has won its appeal against closure – but is still facing a licencing hearing next week.

Macs Bar in Friargate was shut down by licensing bosses over concerns about disorder outside the club at closing time, a month ago.

Owner Andrew McDonald – known as Andy Mac – broke down as he told the appeal panel at Preston Crown Court about the devastating effect of closure on the business he has built up over 10 years.

When asked what long-term closure would mean, he said: “I would be devastated. It would be over. Ten years, gone. I lose everything.”

Following last month’s closure order, customers rallied round in support of the bar, launching a petition and turning to social media to express support for Macs.

Spurred on by the support the club launched – and has now won – the appeal.

After hearing representations from Lancashire Police which highlighted three incidents of crowds gathering and drunken behaviour by revellers, the panel ruled closure was not necessary.

Recorder Howard Bentham QC, who sat on the panel with two magistrates, said: “It is right to observe that the police have an astonishingly difficult job to do because they have to balance the duties and rights of various different parties.

“Some problems are inevitable with institutions like Macs that are there for young people to drink and dance.

“Providing proper systems are in place operating properly, we do not believe closure is necessary.”

The ruling leaves Macs free to reopen, but council bosses will review the licence next week at a pre-planned hearing.

David Edwards, of law firm Harrison Drury, who is representing Macs, said: “The closure order has been revoked in its entirety and we welcome this judgement.

“While the business is now free to trade, we plan to await the outcome of next week’s premises licence review before considering our next move. In the meantime, we’ll work closely with the council and police to resolve this matter in a positive way.”