Spearmint Rhino has had its licence renewed by Sheffield City Council
It is the only strip club in Sheffield
The Sheffield Spearmint Rhino strip club has had its licence renewed by Sheffield City Council after days of debate and demonstrations.
The Brown Street venue, legally obliged to reapply for a sexual entertainments operating licence every year, will stay open for at least the next 12 months.
David Barker, chair of Licensing in Sheffield, said there was "no strong evidence" of poor practices at the club or a negative local impact.
More than 150 objections to the renewal were received, with the most prominent from Sheffield Hallam University.
The Free University of Sheffield and Sheffield Labour Students demonstrated in support of Spearmint this week.
Posting on their Facebook page after being told by one of the workers that the club would stay open, Sheffield Labour Students wrote: "All those amazing women in the gallery will stay safely employed another year."
An open letter to the council shared by the group reads:
"Sex work is legal, and advocating to take away women’s choice to do safe, legal work is anti-feminist and anti-worker. Spearmint Rhino's workers deserve agency over their bodies and economic security."
They got the license! ❤️🌹 https://t.co/swJXDMrhVF
— Sheff Labour Students (@ShefLabStudents) June 20, 2018
Good news! The local spearmint rhino has had its license renewed despite best attempts by a group of SWERFs, egged on by the University which has its student's Union next door.
— Dr Extremely Valid Girl™ ⚧ (@samanFUN) June 21, 2018
Sheffield Hallam University opposes the club, seeing it as detrimental to its new Campus Masterplan project. This will see the university invest millions into development and investment across the city.
Amanda Hughes of the University told the hearing: “It’s in the middle of the cultural industries quarter and on the new Knowledge Gateway, and I don’t see how this fits into either knowledge or education.”
Objections were also received from some members of the community.
Can't see #spearmintrhino is very willing to address my point about I equality of employment conditions for male and female groups of staff.
— Douglas Johnson (@DouglasJSheff) June 19, 2018
Philip Kolvic QC, who represented Spearmint, said: “Objections should not be based on moral grounds. All my client can do is its level best to remain discreet, compliant and respectful to its neighbours.”
Spearmint Rhino in Sheffield has been open for more than 15 years, and is one of 16 venues operated by the company.