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Leicester’s nighttime economy set to grow

Removing the legally restrictive cumulative impact policy is welcome news says leading licensing solicitors

The nighttime and hospitality economy of Leicester looks set to flourish thanks to a legal change that will make it easier for new licensed premises – including pubs, bars and clubs – to open as well as extensions of hours for existing businesses, according to hospitality licensing experts at Poppleston Allen.

The move could see investment in the city’s entertainment and hospitality sector, creating jobs and growth for a part of the economy still recovering after the setback incurred during the Covid-19 pandemic, covering areas including Churchgate, Belvoir Street, London Road, Granby Street and Braunstone Gate – which will all now be primed for the development of new licensed businesses.

The change in policy is also welcome news for entrepreneurs looking to bring a diverse and modern range of licensed business to Leicester, adding to the range of entertainment options for the city’s residents and increasing the appeal of Leicester as a leisure destination – which looks crucial in terms of protecting the future of cities like Leicester, among others around the country, revitalising the high street and central urban areas currently seeing a decline in footfall.

The change comes as Leicester City Council removes their Cumulative Impact Policy, meaning the City Council have decided that an increase in licensed premises (e.g. those selling alcohol, providing entertainment or selling late night hot food and drink) will not contribute to an increase in crime and disorder, public nuisance or will create a risk to public safety, including children, providing an endorsement in the city’s ability to foster a thriving yet safe and sustainable hospitality sector.

The decision means Leicester will follow in the footsteps of Liverpool, Birmingham, Norwich, Nottingham and Hammersmith & Fulham in London – all local areas who have since seen their nighttime and licensed sectors flourish, creating a vibrant drinking and clubbing scene, attracting customers from far afield, creating jobs, growth and ensuring demand for physical space in these central areas remains high, even as retailers and other businesses depart.

Natasha Beck, solicitor and licensing expert at Poppleston Allen said: “It is refreshing to see councils such as Leicester go on the front foot and open up their nighttime and hospitality economy to growth and diversification which can only benefit workers, the public and economy of the city at large, particularly as Leicester looks to develop its economy post Pandemic.

“The move will see Leicester follow some of the country’s most forward-looking cities in terms of nightlife and entertainment and the policy changes could mean Leicester’s entertainment offering matches up to some of the most vibrant in the Midlands and wider UK including Nottingham, Birmingham and Liverpool.”

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