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Gloucestershire Business News

Lap dancing club given go ahead for Cheltenham Festival

Lap dancing club Eroticats has been given the go ahead to open next month for Cheltenham Festival.

Under the Prom nightclub has been granted a Sexual Entertainment Venue Licence for five days during the race event.

It plans to create the temporary venue at the rear of its property, facing Montpellier Street.

The proposal to bring back the erotic venue divided residents opinion with some saying it degraded women but others that it protected them by keeping activities under the eye of the authorities.

Police did not object to the application which garnered eight objections from members of the public but 59 emails of support.

Those against said it was a "shabby idea which degrades women" and a venue of this nature "degrades humanity and adds to this world's darkness and difficulties".

One objector said: "Cheltenham is increasingly becoming known as a brothel town. During race week it's now a horrible town to be in with gangs of seedy men wandering around.

"Most towns value their reputation, and do not grant such licences, sadly that's not the case with Cheltenham."

The application was made by Steven Burrows, director of Gloucester company European Events Consultants Limited which also runs the 2 Pigs in Church Street which has previously hosted Eroticats  during race week.

His supporters said the club was always run safely and helped enhance the economy during one of Cheltenham's busiest periods for visitors.

One female supporter said: "I have never attended one of these events but I'm a strong believer that if this event isn't licensed and controlled it will be forced to operate behind closed doors where potentially people and performers can be taken advantage of.

"Even though these types of events aren't to my taste as a woman I don't find them offensive. I think there is a place for them during the race meets."

The club plans to open on race week from Monday to Friday until 5am.

In a report to the Cheltenham Borough Council Licensing Sub-Committee on February 1, officers said: "The committee is reminded that the authority does not take any moral stand in relation to operation of sex establishments such as sexual entertainment venues because the authority recognises that Parliament has made it lawful to operate a sex establishment and that such businesses are a legitimate part of the retail and leisure industries."

Panel members granted the application.

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