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Nightclub's "fate" to be decided in licence review Published Date: 21/04/2024

The BBC reported that the Middlesbrough Empire is facing "a fight for its existence" after a man was allegedly "thrown to the ground" outside the venue in March.

Its licence was suspended, and it has been closed ever since.

The club previously announced it had enhanced security measures ahead of the review.

Members of Middlesbrough Council's licensing committee may also decide to issue a warning or recommend improvement within a certain time period. 

The review hearing follows the decision of the committee to suspend the licence at an interim meeting after an application by Cleveland Police.

Sgt Glyn Bavin had said the victim of the alleged assault had a seizure as a result of being thrown to the ground outside of the Corporation Road venue.

In its reasons for the interim suspension, the committee said it was considered “just luck” that the man did not suffer very serious injury “if not worse”.

It was also said the alleged perpetrator did not appear to be challenged by staff.

Citing other alleged incidents at the venue, representations were also made from a Middlesbrough Council public health officer who said there was “a clear lack of control” at the premises.

Ahead of the full review hearing, the club said a new firm would operate security as they made “essential and necessary steps to ensure that best practices" were adhered to.

A new management team was also announced in the wake of the departure of Ashley Wem, who ran the venue for 30 years.

The Empire also had its licence suspended for weeks in 2022, following a stabbing at the venue.

It has since introduced security measures including 72 cameras, ID and fingerprint scanners.