Green light for re-opening of town’s former top music venue

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A PROJECT to breathe new life into what was once one of the town’s best loved venues has been given the green light.

The plans by Father and Son team ASLIT Ltd to re-open The Crypt can now move ahead after a premises licence was granted by the council’s licensing sub-committee on Monday (December 10).

The 440-capacity venue with its entrance in Robertson Street looks set to open by the end of February next year with a fresh new look and a new name, which is yet to be announced.

Up to 35 new jobs could be created.

Proprietor Simon Little of ASLIT Ltd said: “We are over the moon, and really excited to get the club open for February.

“We really look forward to bringing Hastings something that is much needed in the town.”

The council’s licensing sub committee considered the application for a new premises licence at 53, Robertson Street, for a 24-hour licence at their meeting.

However a decision was made to grant a licence for reduced hours from 8am to 3am, with the venue allowed to remain open until 3.30am.

Simon is keeping tight-lipped about the programme of events for now, but said: “We are here to provide Hastings with a good music venue.”

He said that the management team was also in talks with the University of Brighton with a view to offering a student night, keen to draw those students back into Hastings who currently prefer the nightlife in towns such as Eastbourne.

Councillor Phil Scott, lead member for environmental services at Hastings Borough Council, said: “The committee listened carefully to the application submitted on behalf of the proposed operator and the representations brought by both the police and environmental health.

“In reaching this decision, the committee considered carefully the existing council licensing policy and the Town Centre Saturation Policy.

“They also took into consideration the reduction in hours, the no ‘off’ sales together with the conditions proposed by the applicant resulting in the issue of the restricted licence, thus ensuring it would not add to the existing problems of the area addressed by the saturation policy.”

The project had received huge support from within the town and the team, which is also behind Electric Stag bar, and it set up an online petition urging people to “vote yes”, which received 630 signatures.

The Crypt closed early in 2011 after encountering financial difficulties, but in its hey day hosted top bands including Coldplay and Muse, and DJs such as John Digweed.