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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Live music venue back in business

THE boss of a live music venue forced to close on its opening night because it did not have a licence says it is now business as usual.

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GUILTY PLEA: Matthew Blackburn REF: 50040966B000

V-Forty in Abbey Road, Barrow, opened its doors for the first time on Friday, November 23.

But police officers and Barrow Borough Council’s licensing department closed the premises following reports the venue was operating without a licence.

Matt Blackburn, the venue’s general manager, said the issue arose from a misunderstanding and police have confirmed the premises, formerly known as Sanctuary and, before that, Barrow Conservative Club, is now free to open as normal.

Mr Blackburn, the former secretary of the Engineers Club in Abbey Road, Barrow, said he and his staff were under the impression the licence was in the name of the building itself.

However, he said the licence was actually in the name of the former leaseholder and ceased to be active on the day of the opening.

Mr Blackburn said he could not resolve the issue with the town hall until office opening hours resumed the following Monday morning.

The opening night gig and EP launch of Barrow acoustic duo Paper Cranes was cancelled and the scheduled Saturday night show, with renowned DJs Scratch Perverts, was left without a venue.

Malcolm Lingard, the promoter behind the Scratch Perverts event, was able to stage the gig at Skint nightclub in Lawson Street, with co-operation from owner One Leisure.

Mr Blackburn said the forthcoming scheduled gigs at V-Forty, starting with US band Native on Thursday , would now continue as planned.

He said: “It was a glitch and we apologise for the inconvenience. We’re now fully sorted and we can move on and have a good future at V-Forty.

“There’s lots of hard work going into it, so we’re not going to give up.”

A police spokesman said: “There is now a licence in place that allows the premises to operate. Police attended and closed the premises on the opening night and enquiries are continuing to establish what occurred.”

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