Harrogate lap-dancing club told to fix panic buttons and record "rule-breaches" as licence renewed

The Kings Club on Oxford Street.
The Kings Club on Oxford Street.

A well-known Harrogate lap-dancing club will have to fix panic buttons and keep a log of "rule breaches" by clients, as part of conditions imposed by Harrogate Borough Council.

The Kings Club, on Oxford Street, had an application for a renewal of their sexual entertainment licence approved by the council's licensing sub-committee earlier this month.

However, the panel of councillors who green-lighted the renewal imposed multiple new conditions on the lap-dancing club, including the fixing and maintenance of panic buttons for workers.

Harrogate lap-dancing club under fire for 'normalising objectification of women'
They also stipulated that a record of any rule breaches must be kept - with incidents to be logged including contact between dancers and customers, and any "self-stimulation" by clients.

The application for renewal briefly attracted controversy last month when members of anti-violence against women charity Press Red criticised the club, accusing it of "normalising the sexualisation and objectification of women".

“It makes me feel very sad and angry that a club like this exists in Harrogate, and it’s wrong wherever it is - it’s not a case of not in my town - it’s a case of not in our world," Press Red head of development and Harrogate resident Laura Brett said.

In response, club owner Paul Kinsey stressed the business was a highly regulated environment where safety was paramount.

"A lot of people have an inaccurate and completely outdated impression of lap-dancing clubs, and what actually goes on in them," he said.

Harrogate lap dancing club applies to renew licence
"But they are highly regulated environments, and we regularly liaise with police and the council and have regular inspections."

On the same day that The Kings Club renewal was approved, the sub-committee also granted permission for a temporary liquor licence for a section of the Stray.

The licence will enable the creation for West Stray UCI fan zone, created for the cycling championships set to hit the town in September.

Lachlan Leeming, Local Democracy Reporter