A plan to ban the sale of alcohol in licensed venues in Ancoats after 11 pm has been proposed. There will be an allowance of half an hour drinking up time afterwards.
Recent renewal in the Ancoats area of Manchester has seen small businesses and increased accommodation turn it into an urban hotspot for young professionals. This year, the Times newspaper ranked the area number two on its list of 20 coolest places to live in Britain.
The transformation of Ancoats has however been a cause for concern. Issues of anti-social behaviour and excessive noise due to the arrival of bars, restaurants and breweries are being tackled by Manchester Council.
This alcohol limitation strategy is aimed at dealing with the issues a bourgeoning nighttime economy is having in the area.
There is a copy of the policy committee report on the Manchester.gov website. In the report, it states that the councils aim for Ancoats is: “to guide the positive regeneration of the area comprehensively and to deliver an attractive and successful residential-led neighbourhood.”
If the 11 pm ban is activated it will affect local drinking establishments the most.
In an interview with The Mancunion, Mark West, manager of popular sports bar Second City, said: “I think it will affect my business negatively, especially on weekends.”
When asked how the 11 pm ban may affect future businesses, Mark expanded, “I think we’ll end up with empty units eventually. People won’t be able to afford the area. With the licenses cut shorter I don’t think people will be able to sustain a business.”
Also voicing her concern was Megan Bews, manager of famed Ancoats pizzeria Rudy’s. The 11 pm ban does not directly affect the restaurant because it closes at 10 pm. However, Megan was still worried about the indirect effect it would have on customers. She told The Mancunion, “we won’t be taking as much money as we could on the weekends because no one will want to come down this end if everywhere is closing that early.”
She added, “Its an area that’s really up and coming and voted one of the trendiest places. I think everything closing at 11 o’clock is not living up to the reputation it wants to have.”
The booze ban is intended to be beneficial to the area’s residents. But Megan stated that she had been sent the link to a petition started up by locals to try and stop the ban.
Many residents have also been voicing their opinions online. One stated: “Licenses should be decided on a case by case basis, this blanket ban will stifle so many places from even attempting to start-up in the area.”
A different comment agreed to the ban for weekdays but stated: “I really don’t see the point on the weekend.”
Voicing an alternative opinion to Mark and Megan was Seven Brothers brewery co-founder, Keith McAvoy. In his interview with The Mancunion, Keith said, “11 pm isn’t that unreasonable to be fair.”
He continued, “It won’t affect my business greatly. We close at 11 pm every evening anyway. This is a residential area, not an overspill from the Northern Quarter. Residents in Ancoats shouldn’t have to worry whether nightclubs will be popping up next to their homes.”
The council is planning a 12 week consultation period which will end on Monday 29th January 2018. After this, it will be decided whether the 11 pm ban will go ahead or not.