Soho's G-A-Y nightclub granted late licence in trade-off with Westminster City Council

 
Alys Key
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G-A-Y's application is being heard today (Source: Getty)

Iconic Soho bar and club G-A-Y has won an extension to its opening hours by offering to close another venue early.

The venue’s application to open until 4am was heard by Westminster City Council’s licensing sub-committee yesterday.

The committee granted the request on the condition that the company closes its Old Compton Street venue an hour early in an unusual trade-off.

The compromise was put forward by Jeremy Joseph, director of the G-A-Y business. During the hearing, Joseph was praised as a “leading light” of the LGBTQ community.

However, the committee said that its decision was based mostly on the licensing trade-off, rather than the cultural status of the club, and insisted that commercial issues were not considered at all.

G-A-Y is one of a number of clubs in central London which has been hit by rent rises. It is currently appealing a rise of almost £4,000 to nearly £7,000 a year.

Rising rents and business rates added an estimated average of £100,000 per year to the bills of clubs in the area last year.

Last year controversy over the closure of Farringdon nightclub Fabric led to questions over Sadiq Khan's commitment to London's night life.

Concerns have also been raised over the survival of London's LGBTQ night life

More than half (58 per cent) of LGBTQ venues have closed in the last ten years according to UCL’s LGBTQ+ Cultural Infrastructure in London report. This represents a higher proportion than other venues in the capital.

Read more: Murder of the dancefloor? Nightclub income fell again this year

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