Plug pulled on club’s hot tub

GHQ on Picardy Place was hoping to use the hot tub on its student night
GHQ on Picardy Place was hoping to use the hot tub on its student night
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A GAY nightclub has been refused permission to install a hot tub for revellers amid health and safety fears.

GHQ on Picardy Place had wanted to introduce the “ancillary entertainment” to use on its weekly Wednesday student nights.

But after raising serious concerns about the dangers of mixing a hot tub with alcohol, the council’s licensing board refused permission to amend GHQ’s licence to accommodate the facility.

G1 Group, which owns the club, said it was “disappointed” by the decision as it had carried out a full risk assessment.

However, members of the licensing board believed the risks were too high.

Councillor Marjorie Thomas, convener of the city’s licensing board, said: “The club wanted to install a hot tub in their premises, so we had an interesting discussion on that.

“It was all very party-focused and they said that individual groups could hire it out free of charge.

“I felt personally that we would not want to give licences to hot tubs when people might be drinking, and the view of the board was that alcohol and hot tubs do not go together.”

It is understood the hot tub would have been situated in a separate room within the club and would have had changing rooms with swimwear available for use.

Licensing board members were told customers would be limited to how much time they could spend in the hot tub and that non-slip mats would be placed around it in a bid to avoid injuries, but the board felt this was not enough.

Tory councillor Alastair Paisley, who sits on the licensing committee, said: “It was thought to be inappropriate by the board on health and safety grounds in case someone got injured or slipped under the water because of alcohol.

“Alcohol and hot tubs do not mix.

“It was a straight forward refusal on health and safety grounds.”

It is not the first time GHQ has been up in front of the city’s licensing board.

It was slammed for an event this time last year which offered medals to revellers who could complete a seven-hour drinking “marathon”.

The club escaped losing its licence after the £1-a-drink promotion was discovered by council chiefs, but was issued a warning by the licensing board.

A G1 Group spokesman said: “Having seen the success of this kind of ancillary entertainment in other venues we had hoped to offer a hot tub in our Picardy Place venue, GHQ, as one of a range of entertainment activities, principally for use on our Wednesday student night.

“We consulted with environmental health officers and completed a full risk assessment.

“We’re disappointed that our application was refused but respect the decision of the licensing board.”

gfraser@edinburghnews.com