Green light given for new Norwich music venue to sell alcohol

Alcohol sales at Norwich's newest live music venue will save a children's charity from closure.

The Open Venue on Bank Plain was given the go-ahead by Norwich City Council this morning to sell alcohol at events aimed at audiences aged 18 and over.

With a full licence, it will mean the venue will be able to hold events for nearly 1,700 people, making it the largest music venue in Norwich.

It is hoped that by launching Open as a live commercial venue, it will be able to attract top acts and in turn create extra revenue for the Open Youth Trust's projects.

Sarah Mintey, principal of the trust, said the charity's closure was 'inevitable' without the licence.

She said: 'This is excellent news. It means we have a future. It is a means to an end. We have had to seriously review our business plans and been quite aggressive in how we drive forward.'

The Open will not sell alcohol when artists aimed at under-18s are performing.

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When alcohol is on sale no under-18s will be allowed in the building.

Miss Minety added: 'We have been very clear about out target audience for these proposed events. Our aim is to become the best hosts in town so folk are attracted by the music rather than the sale of alcohol.'

The venue will be able to sell alcohol until midnight, but insisted it was not looking to become an extension of the drinking hotspots on Prince of Wales road.