Shropshire Star

Licence granted for premises next to Ludlow Hospital

A premises licence has been granted for an arts venue next to Ludlow Hospital.

The application site. Picture: Ludlow Hospital League of Friends

The decision was taken at Monday's Shropshire Council Licensing Act Sub Committee for Unit 2 at the SY8 Studios.

There has been controversy over the application with some saying it was not right to have a venue selling alcohol next to the hospital.

Ludlow Hospital's League of Friends was among those objecting.

But two local councillors welcomed the granting of the licence and stressed they have been assured that it won't be a noisy venue.

Committee members attached conditions to the licence, bringing the closing time down to 10.30pm and the sale of alcohol to 9pm. The conditions also include "no vertical drinking" and no entry without pre-booking. There will also have to be double glazing on the windows facing Ludlow Hospital.

Tracey Huffer, the Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow East, the area next to the hospital, said: “This is the right decision. The proposal generated a lot of concerns but the project felt right from the start. It is the biggest investment in East Hamlet for decades. That’s good.

“This won’t be a noisy venue. The agreed conditions on the licence will not allow partying or rowdy behaviour.

“We are all excited about this. East Hamlet is among the most socially deprived areas of Shropshire and England. We need locations across Ludlow that inspire people. To get them into futures and make achievements they they thought were beyond them.

“We need to stop moaning that nothing can be done about the problems in our tow - we are beginning to tackle them.

“Ludlow has had a hard time but it is now on the up.”

Andy Boddington, the Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow North which includes the hospital, said: “No other issue has been so stressful in my decade as a councillor. We were battling so much exaggeration, so much misinformation. So much based on hearsay, not on an understanding on what is actually planned.

“Now Gather, an arts and community based project in SY8 Studios, all created without a penny of public money, can stride ahead.

“There are a lot of embryonic plans for projects that will reach out into the community. That works for East Hamlet, that works for Ludlow and it works for our communities across the Marches.”