Poles apart: Lap dancing bar to open - MP says it will be seedy- owner says they are part of night time economy

Wakefield MP Mary Creagh and coun Margaret Isherwood in.
Wakefield MP Mary Creagh and coun Margaret Isherwood in.

A lap dancing club will open before Christmas despite fears it could ruin the regeneration hopes of the city centre.

Wakefield Council granted nightclub owner Kevin Spencer a licence to open the Pussy Cat Lounge sexual entertainment venue above Tequila nightclub on Bank Street at a meeting on Wednesday.

Kevin Spencer.

Kevin Spencer.

But Wakefield MP Mary Creagh said the venue could ruin the city’s reputation to developers and businesses.

She said: “I am obviously very disappointed with the decision.

“All of the district’s MPs and councillors have worked extremely hard to regenerate our area during the past 10 years and this type of business lowers the whole tone of the area.

“It will make the city feel seedy and I think it will also make women feel unsafe in our city centre.

“It is such a shame that after spending millions of pounds refurbishing the city centre this application has been granted because it could set us back.”

The council’s licensing committee granted the application following amendments by Mr Spencer.

The original application was for the venue to open from 11pm until 4.30am from Thursday to Monday.

But Mr Spencer, who has five-years’ experience running gentlemen’s clubs and has owned nightclubs around Westgate, said the licence is now for the club to be open from midnight until 4am on Fridays and Saturdays.

He said: “We are very happy with the decision. We amended the application because we looked at the complaints and we looked at what people were objecting about and adjusted it accordingly.

“Lap dancing clubs are part of the nightlife economy. It has been part of the city’s economy in previous years and it is something that has been missing in Wakefield.”

Mr Spencer said he hoped to open the venue before Christmas.

He said: “I need to go away and put a plan together to make that happen but that’s what I’m aiming for.”

Kevin Spencer first announced plans for the Pussy Cat Lounge in November 2014.

But he faced a strong backlash from MPs and councillors, including Wakefield Council leader Peter Box.

A decision was originally due to be made in August but the meeting was cancelled.

Ms Creagh said: “I will be keeping a very close eye on the club and will be making sure that any breaches of the licence are followed up accordingly.”