Pin It
fabric wikimedia

Fabric has won the fight to reopen

ID scanners, an Over-19 door policy and rigorous staff training in drug awareness are all components in the policy that will see the nightclub opened again following its previous closure by the council

Following reports that Fabric nightclub, Islington Council and the Metropolitan police were engaging in talks outside of court that would see the club reopened, new reports say an agreement has been made and a judge has approved the club's reopening.

Islington Gazette has claimed that lawyers for each side have settled on new licensing conditions that would counteract drug use onsite, and offer new security measures in outside talks. With these agreements reached and approved by both sides following a last-minute hearing at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court, the club could reopen soon.

A court spokeswoman said earlier today: “An indication has been given that the district judge may be asked to consider dealing with this appeal on terms agreed between parties.”

Under the new detailed terms, specialist roles have been created to prevent drugs from entering the club, and guidelines for helping anyone who falls ill have been set up. Anyone under 19 will not be allowed entry and those found in possession of drugs, or dealing, will be banned from the club for life.

ID scanners, which the club had previously won an appeal against using in 2015, will be used at the door. 250 staff will receive drug awareness training, and a new welfare team trained by Loop will be in place. A CCTV controller will also be in place to deter criminal activity. A joint statement outlined the full licensing measures that the club must adhere to once reopened.

The statement reads: “In light of Fabric's acceptance that there have been failings, and given the commitment that its directors and management have shown by their development of the Operations Manual and acceptance of these new conditions, the Authority is now satisfied that the statutory licensing objectives may be met short of the revocation of the Premises Licence. It is for these reasons that it has decided not to oppose Fabric's appeal. Fabric Life will pay Islington's costs in these proceedings directly and not from the monies pledged by supporters.

“For its part, Fabric understands and accepts that the additional conditions it has agreed to are meaningless unless operational practices ensure each of them is complied with. Its directors and management remain committed to ensuring compliance. They are committed to ensuring the safety of their patrons. Fabric will not re-open until they believe they can comply with their new conditions.”

Philip Kolvin, Fabric's representative, told Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court: “My client decided to take a root and branch reappraisal of its processes and procedures. It has produced a new 155-page operating manual. Promoting licensing objectives is the responsibility of everyone from junior to senior. Fabric shares exactly the same goals as the authorities.”

Raujit Bhose, who represented the council, stated: “What the council has been concerned with is whether Fabric can operate with a true zero tolerance towards drugs. We are now satisfied revocation of the licence is not necessary. Fabric has accepted procedure for searching and drug dealing within the club were not sufficient. It has now accepted 38 new conditions as well as its 155-page operating manual. The authority is satisfied Fabric understands what has to be done.”

The Farringdon nightclub was shut down in September following the deaths of two 18-year-old men onsite due to drug use. The coroner’s report came in last week for Ryan Browne and Jack Crossley.

At the inquest, Coroner Mary Hassell said: “I am convinced Fabric’s medical care was excellent, and I don’t often hear of that with nightclubs.”

Last week, the Islington Tribune reported that talks between the club, local council and authorities were taking place outside of court, as it would “save both parties thousands of pounds in legal fees”. 32 new “gold standard” licensing conditions for Fabric were suggested to see operations begin again. 

Over £320,000 has been donated so far to the fundraising campaign for the club, and over 160,000 have signed a supporting petition.

In a statement, Fabric said: We are hugely thankful to be able to confirm the news that we have won our licence back. We owe everything to our supporters. We really would not be here today without your unparalleled support and generosity. So many different people stepped up to put their voices to our cause, artists from all corners of the music community, fellow promoters who have put on huge events from us and clubbers from around the world who all united behind us.

“We’ve even seen people sporting their #savefabric t-shirts on the other side of this planet showing just how big this thing is. So, thank you to all of you. Without the strength of your backing this would not have happened. You saved fabric. We’ll be back with some news about #saveourculture and our next steps when we can.”