Enjoying a drink in some of Harrogate's most iconic drawcards may soon be easier than ever, with the council to apply for a premises licence to allow the sale of alcohol at the Mercer Art Gallery and the Royal Pump Room Museuem.
The move comes after a report highlighted increasing demand for corporate, commercial and individual ‘hires’ at the two venues, with cabinet member for culture, tourism and sport Stanley Lumley signing off on it last week.
Coun Lumley said the licence was part of the council's commercialisation process, and was about giving "customers more of a choice".
"It broadens what we have on offer, and gives us more versatility with these venues," he said.
"People like to have a drink and now we're able to give it to them."
He added that he didn't forsee bars being installed in either facility, with pop-up bars to be used instead for events.
A report on the matter highlights additional reasons for the move.
"The Mercer Art Gallery and Royal Pump Room Museum are being
increasingly used for corporate and individual hires," the report states.
"An element of these hires has included requests for licensable activity which would be covered through the Premises Licence."
The report adds the licence would increase the venues’ suitability for additional activity, attract different audiences and increase commercial income.
While individual events can be licenced through applications for Temporary Event Notices, these require a fee per application and can only be used for seven days at a time, which can add up in terms of cost and prevent longer ‘hires’ being considered, according to the report, making a permanent licence more suitable.
It is intended that the sale of alcohol on the site would be permitted between 11am to 11pm, seven days a week, to cover the maximum times that
would be required for hire bookings.
The licence is the latest move to commercialise council-managed assets in the district.
Earlier this year a licence for Harrogate's Turkish Baths was granted, enabling alcohol to be sold during business hours at the attraction.
Lachlan Leeming, Local Democracy Reporter