Berkshire

Reading club has 'high risk of extreme violence'

The After Dark club in Reading Image copyright Steve Lutwyche
Image caption The After Dark club in Reading is an independent venue that hosts themed music nights

A nightclub twice threatened with closure could have its licence revoked after police said the venue attracted customers "with a propensity for extreme violence".

After Dark in Reading, which opened in 1973, has received noise complaints and warnings for playing "deafening" music after its licensed hours.

The club became a live music venue again in June 2018.

The club's management said it was a "safe place".

Reading Borough Council said councillors would review its licence, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Thames Valley Police said the force had a "host of issues" with the club.

Officers said the "poor performance" of the venue was leading management to promote "higher risk events, which attract a demographic of customer with a propensity for extreme violence".

The force added it had a "strong belief" if the licence wasn't revoked, there would be further incidents of "crime and disorder".

Image copyright Google
Image caption The After Dark is accessed through an alleyway in London Street

The After Dark club, which is found through a alleyway between two Grade II-listed buildings, has been used as an entertainment venue since the 1940s, according to its owners.

A new management team decided in June last year to turn the club into a music venue and place for up and coming bands to play.

The club's future was threatened after plans were made to build flats on the site, which has hosted bands Radiohead and Supergrass in the past.

KK Property Investments, set up by the club's owners, wanted to replace the venue with two blocks of six flats in 2017.

Marie-Claire Peterson, a manager at After Dark, said the club was a "safe place".

She added: "Everyone talks to everybody. There's a community who come here regularly."

Rebecca Moon, an environmental health officer for the council, said: "There is regularly music coming from the club, that is clearly audible inside of the residents' flat late at night, including with their windows closed.

The club said it planned to spend about £6,000 on soundproofing the venue, and hoped to have most of the work finished by October.

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