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Maidstone's lack of clubbers on Friday nights has prompted town managers into action

By Angela Cole

Is Maidstone fast becoming like a ghost town on Friday nights as revellers desert it for options elsewhere?

Concerned club bosses and town managers are so worried about falling numbers they are holding talks on how to that this could be the case they entice pubbers and clubbers back.

Up until two years ago, the County Town would see 15,000 people living it up on both Friday and Saturday nights.

Maidstone night life

Now, while Saturday still proves popular with around 12,000 regularly descending, the Friday night crowd has dropped to just around 3,500 people.

But it’s villages like West Malling and Bearsted which are attracting people for a pre-weekend drink instead.

West Malling night life

Maidstone Town Centre Management’s night economy forum heard that issues aggravating the problems included parking provision and a lack of disposable income, limiting them to one major night out a week.

Town centre manager Bill Moss said: “It is a trend we have seen for the last two or three years. It is money; people just don’t have as much.”

West Malling was held up as an example of a particularly thriving Friday nightspot, where some evenings it was sometimes hard to get into some of the pubs. Similarly, Bearsted was described as exceedingly busy.

Mr Moss agreed to bring club managers, bar staff and police together to discuss options for promoting the town at the end of the working week.on Friday evenings.

One suggestion was a free pass allowing revellers entry to all venues during the evening.

Members agreed the town’s Purple Flag status and Urban Blue Bus, which provides medical helps to people on a night out, were features which could be promoted to attract more people.

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