A late-night drinking venue in the former Travelodge building will not be used by students, the University of Chester insists.
Last week the University of Chester submitted an application to allow alcohol to be served between 9am-midnight in the canteen of the recently renovated student halls, now called Sumner House.
If given the go ahead by Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) the licence would allow bands and musicians to perform, and alcohol to be served seven days a week.
But the university has reassured residents that Sumner House will not become an alternative student union or drinking hole for students, but that the licensed area would be used for ‘private events for conference delegates’.
If given the green light by CWaC councillors, the former hotel would be able to show plays, films and have live music performances in the former canteen, which fronts the Fountains Roundabout.
But the university say the 100-seater venue will only be used ‘outside term time’ and will be used for private events by people using the accommodation for conferences for ‘small drinks receptions’.
The former canteen could also be used for ‘occasional small arts performances’ put on by students, a spokesperson confirmed.
“If it were not specifically requested the space would not be used,” she said.
“The licence would not be available for use at Sumner House by students, Chester Students’ Union or the general public.
“If any request were to be made to the conferences team by any conference delegates visiting the University to use the space for a specific purpose, it would be considered on a case-by-case basis to ensure it fell within the remit of the licence.”
“This application reflects the licence arrangements already in place for the University’s Kingsway Buildings and the Main Campus, where the venue could possibly be used for an occasional small arts performance.
“The space would not be used to attract bands on an ad-hoc basis for public performances and would not be used for music during term time.”
Before being transformed into student accommodation, the Travelodge had a 24-hour licence, which was removed when plans were put in place for the University to acquire the hotel.