Creative Seed applies for alcohol licence for new Sunderland arts centre

A bid to sell alcohol at a new arts centre on Wearside will be discussed by councillors next week.

Tuesday, 31st December 2019, 12:23 pm
Kath Thompson, Alex Samuels, Sandy Harris and Ashley Allen outside of the former St. Hilda's Parish Centre.

The group are well-known for their work on events like South Tyneside’s annual Festival Summer Parade and the Tall Ships Welcome Parade.

Following a major revamp, the former St Hilda’s Parish Centre is set to become a hub for exhibitions and performances as well as workshops and events.

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Kath Thompson, Alex Samuels, Sandy Harris and Ashley Allen inside of the former St. Hilda's Parish Centre.

The carnival arts and cultural centre, off The King’s Road, is expected to open in Spring 2020 with activities ranging from costume making and hip hop to aerial and stilt walking.

As part of the development, a licence application was recently submitted to Sunderland City Council for the space, which includes a bar and cafe/lounge area.

This includes alcohol sales on site between 12noon-10.30pm, alongside a wider bid for plays, films, live / recorded music and dance between 9am-10.30pm, seven days a week.

However, during consultation the council received a letter from neighbours “strongly objecting to the proposal”.

Concerns included litter, parking issues, traffic congestion, noise and the “need for more alcohol in the area.”

The letter goes on to say: “We know Southwick has a bit of a reputation, but apart from the litter problem it’s a nice quiet residential area.

“Gentoo have built some nice houses and the area is improving all the time.

“We do not wish to undo the good work of local people who are doing their best to improve the area.

“If this proposal goes through, it will have a detrimental effect on the area.”

As part of the application, leaders from South Shields-based Creative Seed have outlined steps to prevent crime, improve public safety and protect children from harm at the venue.

This includes CCTV, ‘challenge 25’ age checks, staff training, ‘keep quiet’ notices for customers leaving the venue, a refusals register and hiring door staff when required.

Licensing documents add that under 18s unaccompanied by an adult will not be allowed to enter or remain on the venue after 9pm, unless attending a private function / event.

As a result of the neighbour objection, the application has been called in to licensing bosses for decision on Thursday, January 9.

The meeting will take place in Sunderland Civic Centre, starts at 10am and is open to the public.