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Nightclub owner drops legal action over loss of operating licence

A chain of Birmingham music venues has conceded defeat in its battle with the city council over licensing.

Rainbow Venues lost its operating licence last autumn after two drug-related deaths at one nightclub, but has since closed all its venues in the city.

Its managers launched a campaign called Educate Not Revocate to try to finance legal action to get its licence restored, to which it invited public contributions.

But in a statement on its Facebook page the owners said: “All legal action against Birmingham City Council and West Midlands Police will be dropped in order to avoid any further financial impact on the team, who have signalled an intent to move away from venue operations and back towards live event promotion until major concerns around current regional licensing processes are addressed.”

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Founder Lee McDonald said: “Until the difficult and intimidating climate of licensing in Birmingham and across the UK changes, and the financial and emotional impact that it directly causes on venue owners and licensees is alleviated, we will no longer invest in the city we have previously called home.”

He said the campaign had raised £24,076 for legal costs, which would be repaid to donors.

A Birmingham City Council statement said: “The statement from Rainbow Venues actually mentions the ‘climate in Birmingham and across the UK’ so they are clearly referring to how the Licensing Act is applied across the country not specifically Birmingham.”

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