The Mess Room hope for permanent licence after “unbearable” closure

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The Mess Room promoters Michael Watson and Chris Bungoni are trying to gain a permanent events licence, amid plans for future monthly events.

With the initial plan to only host monthly events, The Mess Room used a temporary events licence, but now hope to receive a permanent one after suffering from problems with the police and council.

The business partners spent £6,000 redeveloping what is Sunderland’s only warehouse venue, but have had to cancel two of their three planned events after police issued them with a closure notice under the Anti-social Behaviour Act.

After the cancellation of their January event, a petition was launched for the licensing and reopening of the venue.

Michael, a University of Northampton Performing Arts graduate, spoke of the success on New Year’s Eve: “The police who were patrolling the event were speaking about how well the event ran well and they were happy with the crowd, the doormen were saying about now nice the crowd was. No violent behaviour or anything, it was just perfect.”

Despite having more than a 1000 signatures – four times the venues capacity – the duo are still asking for more support as they look to gain a permanent license.

Resident DJ Chris, 26, said: “We’ve brought the building up to a standard where it’s safer than any night club in the city.

“But to get the building licensed you need toilets, because we were using portable ones outside. We’ve got toilets inside, but the current plan is to get them all working then we should be able to get the building licensed. It’s gonna take a little a bit of time, so we don’t want to reveal any dates just yet.”

Michael, 27, said: “We put it across to the customers which is the worst thing about it that everything was solid, the last thing we want to do is mess people about. And then for that happen and to have to tell people who have bought tickets and made plans for our night that it isn’t going ahead and it’s totally out of our hands, it’s unbearable.

“It’s something we really don’t want to have to do again. So that’s why when we do get the building licensed this kind of thing will not happen.”

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