Trouble-hit Sheffield nightclub can reopen

Image caption,
The licensing committee agreed the club could reopen after eight hours of deliberation

A Sheffield nightclub which was forced to close last month after five men were stabbed has been told it can reopen.

One man was stabbed inside Niche, on Charter Row, and four others suffered knife wounds in a disturbance outside.

The city council's licensing committee heard gang members from Manchester and Birmingham used the club and there had been 37 incidents of assault there.

The committee agreed Niche could reopen as a members-only club and with stricter opening hours.

It heard children as young as 13 had been found inside the club.

'Yellow card'

Conditions imposed by the committee mean Niche will have to provide more door staff and cannot admit anyone after 0200.

Clubbers also have to apply for a membership card at least 24 hours before they visit Niche and prove their identity with a passport or driving licence.

Niche owner Steve Baxendale said the conditions imposed by the committee would "make the job harder but better for the long run and tighten it all up so that now people who are out to cause trouble can now go somewhere else".

He added: "We needed a little bit of a kick up the bottom. We should be able to crack [the problems] and make it better for the music lovers."

Ch Supt Andy Barrs, of South Yorkshire Police, said: "This constitutes a yellow card for Mr Baxendale and, as he was told by the chair of the board, the next time it will be in football terms a red card."

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