Nottingham bars and clubs which open after midnight will now have to make payments to contribute to night-time policing after the introduction of the Late Night Levy.
The Late Night Levy scheme was introduced within the city from November 1 this weekend and affects premises which supply alcohol after midnight.
With the cost of policing in the city estimated to be nearly £1.5 million a year, the funds collected for the Levy will be split 70/30 between Nottinghamshire Police, Crime Commissioner and the Council.
The decision to bring in the Levy has not been welcomed by all after a consultation by the council found 74 per cent of people were against the plans before they came into force.
Before the start of the Levy clubs and bars were advised by the Council to vary the hours they sold alcohol at the premises in order to avoid the additional costs.
Over half of the clubs and bars in Nottingham have in fact chosen to opt out of the scheme, instead changing their hours in order to avoid the levy costs by stopping selling alcohol at midnight.
Exempt from the scheme, The Orange Tree on Shakespeare Street, is already part of the Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID).
General Manager of the popular city centre bar and restaurant, Del Frith, said: “This is an absolutely ridiculous idea and is not going to make a blind bit of difference.
“We already pay our rates and taxes anyway.
“This could completely ruin the late night trade for those that are not exempt.”
The levy costs will vary between £299 and £4,400 a year for 218 premises in the city depending on the establishment’s existing fee band.
Due to Government regulations, the purposes for which the Council can use its share of the levy is limited to funding activities addressing crime and disorder, public safety, public nuisance and street cleaning in relation to alcohol.
These activities will be necessary between the hours of 00.01 and 06.00 and will be achieved through the establishment of two more night time Community Protection Officers.
Some categories of premises are exempt from the levy charges, theatres and cinemas, bingo halls, premises providing overnight accommodation, certain country village pubs and certain community premises will all be exempt.
Members of the BID are exempt from paying as they already contribute to schemes helping keep the city safe at night through their membership fees.
Despite some negative reactions, the Council is confident the scheme will help keep the city safe at night.
City Council Leader, Councillor Jon Collins, said: “The funds generated through a Late Night Levy mean that licensed premises will add to the range of activities currently funded by the public purse that have seen the city repeatedly awarded Purple Flag status.
“Nottingham is a very popular night-time destination and we want to make sure that people continue to choose to come here and are able to enjoy a safe night out.”
Head of Licensing, Pete Mitchell, added: “The introduction of the Levy is not just about generating a fund to help tackle late night issues, but about being able to manage the night time economy better.”