UK stag do capital Blackpool to ban all strip clubs in ‘family friendly’ rebrand

Blackpool will close all its strip clubs as the seaside town undergoes a "family friendly" rebrand.

Licensing chiefs at Blackpool Council have also agreed a new policy to permit only one sex shop to trade in a bid to turn it into a family resort.

They've now set a "zero limit" on "seedy" strip clubs as they plan to remove all sexual entertainment venues from one of the UK's most popular stag do destinations, the Mirror reports.

Under new plans instead of an immediate ban the existing four lap dancing clubs will operate until their licences lapse and then will not be renewed.

Licensing bosses said the plans will enhance Blackpool's aim to be a real family resort.

Councillor Peter Hunter said he would prefer to see all four clubs and the town's one trading sex shop closed immediately.

He said: "To me these venues are very, very seedy in the extreme and quite frankly, I don't want to see them in Blackpool at all.

"I don't want to see them in any town, but especially not Blackpool which is a family holiday resort."

But Councillor Neal Brookes warned the clubs could go underground if they were told to shut down immediately – rather than slowly closing over time.

He also did not want lap dancing clubs in a family resort, but warned: "If we don't have a licensed venue, we run the risk of it going underground."

Licensing chiefs say the move to phase out the clubs also reflects Blackpool's support of the White Ribbon campaign to reduce violence towards women.

The committee approved the policy which will now go out to public consultation for eight weeks, before coming back to officials for a final decision.

Licensing chair Councillor Adrian Hutton previously said: "We're not against people coming to Blackpool and having a good time.

"But there is an element that causes problems and this is a way to reduce that.

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"A lot of thought has gone into this to come up with a policy which helps the town."

The seaside resort had about 13 lap dancing venues in the mid-2000s but numbers have steadily reduced to four.

Sex entertainment venues are currently closed under the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

But when they are allowed to reopen, they would be re-licensed providing they comply with legislation and licence conditions.

Once a licence lapses, revoked or surrendered, or otherwise not renewed, the acquired rights would be lost.

New applications would still be considered but with the zero policy in place, it would be difficult to get a licence granted.

Other changes within the revised policy include tighter controls over how dances are paid for, and a ban on dancers taking mobile phones into performance areas.

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