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Auction House to reopen after premises licence revoked

The new owners of a bar plagued with licensing issues are spending £100,000 redeveloping the site.

Council bosses revoked the premises licence at the Auction House in New Street, Ashford, last year after hearing about a series of glass attacks.

But now Nick Turner-Brown and his business partner Nick Hollingsbee, of Nix Ventures, have revealed they are nearing the end of its renovation after working with Ashford Borough Council (ABC) and police.

The Auction House is set to reopen on bank holiday weekend
The Auction House is set to reopen on bank holiday weekend

The pair, who have been working together for three years, will reopen the nightspot as a cocktail bar, offering draught products and artisan spirits.

They plan to open this weekend.

Mr Brown, who also worked in country pubs and Italian restaurants across the county, said: “I was made aware of it by a friend who works in the entertainment industry.

"He lives in Ashford and he said it was a popular venue but plagued by trouble.

“The town’s very sad that it has gone and like anything in life, a minority can ruin it for everyone.

“We’ve got a fresh security team coming that will control the doors and a facial recognition membership system.

“We’re doing our very best to make sure we’re able to provide a safe environment for everyone to have a good time.”

The facial recognition software will scan a form of ID before relaying information back to security staff, who will then decide whether to let revellers in or not.

Mr Brown added: “We will have a licence to serve until 4am.

“We’re doing our very best to make sure we’re able to provide a safe environment for everyone to have a good time" - Nick Turner-Brown

“We’ve worked quite closely with the police and licensing team about security measures.

"There is a good element of trust between us and the local authority.

“I think the police are pleased we’re doing as much as we can to eradicate trouble.”

The pair were granted their licence for the club and town centre bar earlier this month after putting in an application to ABC at the start of April.

A number of new names are being considered for the nightspot, with 'Lot 7' among the favourites.

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