Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting WO to 80360, or email us
Area nightclub management company, Gatecrasher, respond to licence hearing
5:45pm Friday 12th October 2012 in News
The owners of Area nightclub have announced the venue is due to undergo a £500,000 refurbishment when it closes for two months.
Today the club agreed to shut temporarily at the beginning of November and open again under a new name after police applied to have it stripped of its licence.
However the Area’s parent company, Gatecrasher, has since blamed the problems that led to the hearing on a large fight last August, which it says was caused by the riots.
In a statement the club said: “The club came into the spotlight following an isolated incident outside the club in August last year.
“This one-off incident was sparked by the inner-city riots that swept across the UK and engulfed the capital.
“This incident and subsequent unrest was unprecedented. Area's management team co-operated fully and immediately with Hertfordshire Constabulary to minimise this disorder and Area security assisted local police in walking the group of potential rioters out of the town centre.”
Following today’s decision, Simon Raine, managing director of Gatecrasher, said: “Safety and security has always been a top priority at Area and remains so moving forward.
“The safety of everyone who comes through our door is of the upmost importance and we continue to strengthen our operational policies and procedures.
“We remain totally committed to business in Watford and have a significant long-term financial investment in the town. Ultimately we want to work closely with the Council and Hertfordshire Constabulary.
“We all have the same goal – public safety is of paramount importance and we must work together on this.
“To have the ultimate night-out, people need to feel safe, so we have invested a lot of time and money ensuring we get this right. We are working with the relevant authorities to underpin Area as a safe and exciting entertainment destination”
Area’s parent company Gatecrasher said it had previously received awards for security including the Best Bar None Awards supported by the Home Office.
Gatecrasher said it has also recently rewritten the company’s health and safety and operational manual.
The club’s senior management team said it is completely committed to the total safety and security of their clubbers, which remains an absolute priority.
Area nightclub will be open for business until its temporary closure.
Gatecrasher said the clubs new management was asked all clubbers on a night out to be mindful of residents in the area.
Neil Jennings, Area's new designated premises supervisor and business manager, added: “We have trained our staff in a range of areas ranging from conflict management to licensing laws.
“Staff selection has been very thorough in order to get the right people for the team. Responsible serving of alcohol, ID checks and drug policy has been covered. We have a zero tolerance policy on disruptive behaviour and we will be working closely with local authorities.”