A NIGHTCLUB owner is justifying a late licence application on the grounds that his club keeps the institution of marriage alive.
Ian Hastings says his club is responsible for around 40% of marriages in the Scottish Borders town of Kelso.
The 67-year-old businessman warned that unless his club, called The Vibe, gets licenced until 3am on Friday and Saturday nights he may have to close.
And he reckons that could have a devastating effect on the number of couples who tie the knot in the community.
Mr Hastings’ warning may come as a surprise to those who view nightclubs as little more than “cattle markets”.
But Mr Hastings, who has been happily married for 44 years, takes the opposite view.
In his formal application to Scottish Borders Council licensing committee, Mr Hastings stated that approximately 40% of newlyweds in the town met for the first time at Vibe.
Mr Hastings insisted: “We’re populating the nation here.
“The club is probably the main way that people get together.
“There isn’t really anywhere else – unless you go to church. My lot don’t go to church anyway.”
He added: “I’ve seen countless couples get together over the years..”
Mr Hastings said he is under considerable commercial pressure from pubs, supermarkets and two-for-one booze deals still available just across the border.
Ellie Henderson, 34, met her husband Gareth in the club in 2003. She said: “I was out with the girls and he was out with the boys. “
A spokesman for Scottish Borders Council said: “The Scottish Borders Licensing Board will consider the application at the scheduled hearing tomorrow and, after hearing and giving proper consideration to all matters before it, will determine the application.”