Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Sheffield strip club licence renewed despite objections

Spearmint Rhino protesters
Image caption Protesters from groups including Spearmint Rhino and Sheffield Students' Union said it is "not feminist" to close down strip clubs

A Sheffield lap dancing club has had its operating licence renewed despite dozens of objections.

Spearmint Rhino, on Brown Street, has operated for 15 years but needed to renew its sexual entertainment venue licence to remain open.

The city council received more than 150 objections with opponents saying the club is demeaning to women.

But the chair of licensing, councillor David Barker said there was no evidence of "poor practices" at the club.

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Campaigners demonstrated outside the council meeting where the club's licensing renewal was being discussed on Tuesday.

Image copyright Geograph/neil theasby
Image caption Spearmint Rhino is next to Sheffield Hallam Union, close to the city centre

Sheffield MPs, Sheffield Hallam University and local businesses had all expressed concerns.

Club supporters said it was "not feminist" to close strip clubs, while objectors argued such establishments promoted inequality and misogyny.

The university, which is adjacent to the strip club and led the objections, said having a lap dancing club neighbouring a "world class university" was "ludicrous".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption People supporting the club have said it is "safe workplace" for women, and provides for families

Granting the licence, Mr Barker said: "There was a very strong case against sexual entertainment in general from the objectors.

"However, we could find no strong evidence of poor practices or detrimental impact on the local area arising from the operation of the club."

The national chain is Sheffield's only licensed strip club. Its sexual entertainment venue licence was renewed last year despite almost 100 objections.

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