University to apply for new licence to run Venue 53 Degrees

Part of a former music venue in Preston could be coming back into use.

53 Degrees, which used to operate solely as a live music venue, is to see the downstairs venue run by the University of Central Lancashire.

A deal has been struck for the university to operate downstairs as Venue 53 while the smaller upstairs venue is to be run by the university’s Students’ Union.

UCLan has applied for a new premises licence for the downstairs venue and says it will be used for a wide range of events.

A university spokeswoman said: “We are already making good use of the venue, which has been used for the award-winning Lancashire Science Festival and our annual Graduate Fashion Show amongst other events.

“It will be primarily used by students working with the Students Union, for internal events and for community engagement activities.”

The new licence applied for by the university would allow it to serve alcohol from 8am to 1am and also run events at any time of the day or night, seven days a week.

53 Degrees stopped hosting large-scale concerts in early 2015 as the Students’ Union scaled back its operation, blaming a changing live music market and financial constraints.

Bars manager at UCLan Students’ Union Jon Russ said: “We are aware that the University has applied for a licence for the main hall of 53 degrees, the Union are working closely with the University during this transition.

“The Union continues to operate ‘53 Degrees Club’ on the 1st floor under the existing licence arrangements, and have a number of public gigs, club nights and other student activities and events in the calendar.”

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