Blackpool bar to open late for New Year’s Eve as police fear children will be exposed to drunks

The New Philly bar in Blackpool will open later than its usual closing time of 11pm

A Blackpool bar has won its battle to allow families to see in the New Year together.

The New Philly Family Bar on Foxhall Road had faced objections from police and child protection officers after seeking permission for children to remain on the premises until 1am on New Year’s Eve, instead of having to leave by 11pm. Police licensing chiefs feared children could be exposed to drunken behaviour if they were allowed to join in the late-night celebrations.

But a council licensing panel agreed children could remain on the premises, provided they were accompanied by a responsible adult. An objection submitted by Blackpool Police licensing department said: “While we accept this is an exceptional night of the year, this, in itself, causes issues.

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“New Years Eve this year falls on a Saturday. It is fair to assume that the venue will be full of large numbers of people all under the influence of alcohol and wanting to celebrate the new year. We are concerned that this mix of drunk adults and vulnerable children will mean they are put at risk of harm.”

However PC Guy Harrison told the hearing police logs showed there were no concerns about how the venue was run, and similar parties held in 2019 and 2021 had been trouble-free. Nick Pritchard, owner of the New Philly who had submitted a temporary events notice to the council, said it would be an all-ticket event with tickets only sold to families.

He told the hearing people with children wanted to celebrate New Year’s Eve together, and his venue provided a safe place for them to do this. He said: “I run a very strict venue. We have had two previous New Year’s Eve parties with no problems.”

The licensing panel agreed the event could go ahead but added an extra condition to the licence that no under-16s would be allowed to remain past 8pm unless accompanied by a responsible adult. The panel said while it understood the police concerns around safeguarding issues, the event would be ticket only and similar events had been held in previous years without incident.

The police have 21 days to appeal the decision should they decide to do so.

  • 05:00, 8 NOV 2022

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