A Wolverhampton city centre bar will remain open after bosses satisfied the council and police that they were committed to keeping customers safe.

City of Wolverhampton Council's licensing committee had revoked the licence of the Prince Albert in September at the request of the police after a serious violent incident outside the premises earlier this year.

The owners of the landmark venue, on Railway Drive, had lodged an appeal against the decision which was due to be heard at the magistrates court next month.

The bar is in a prominent city centre location - opposite the brand new multi million pound i10 development and close to the city's railway station which is one of the busiest in the UK with 4.5 million passengers each year.

The Prince Albert has remained open, as the law allows, until the outcome of the appeal was known. However, if the magistrates had found the revocation should stand, the venue would have had to close with immediate effect.

While awaiting the appeal hearing, discussions have been taking place between the Prince Albert - which has a new management team in place - the police and council and an agreement has now been reached which means the appeal can be dropped and the licence will effectively be reinstated.

The council has agreed to grant a consent order which essentially means the venue will get its licence back, but bosses must agree to a series of strict conditions designed to keep customers safe.

Among the conditions the Prince Albert owners have agreed to include:

  • reduced opening hours (from 7am to 3.30am)
  • comprehensive staff training
  • a new music policy
  • improved security - including additional door staff and high definition CCTV covering all public areas

Councillor Alan Bolshaw, chairman of the council's licensing committee, said: "We have never wanted to see this landmark city centre venue shut its doors, but the action we took was essential to ensure public safety.

"Quite rightly, we and the police were not prepared to allow this bar to continue operating as it had been and took firm action which has led the owners to radically change their approach.

"We are now satisfied that they are committed to providing a safe night out for their customers with new management, better security and a change in music policy - and we will therefore be reinstating the licence enabling the business to continue."

Nathan Thaker, the new general manager of the Prince Albert, said: "Following discussions with the council and police, we have worked hard to bring together a new management team and a new security provider. This, along with our refurbishment planned for January, means that 2016 will get off to a positive start for the Prince Albert."

  • released: Thursday 17 December, 2015