Fabric nightclub: London’s iconic dance club saved from closure but must employ sniffer dogs following drug deaths

Club will have to pay for seven sniffer dogs a night, costing £300 each, among other measures

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The Independent Culture

Fabric, the iconic London nightclub that has housed music lovers for 15 years, has been saved from closure, but at a considerable cost to the owners.

The club was under threat of having its licence overturned by Islington Council after police raised concerns following a series of drug related deaths and near deaths at the venue, two of which had occurred in the last three months.

Fabric said in a statement before the meeting that it operates a “zero tolerance drugs policy” and that it continues to be open and honest in assisting the police with any investigations.

Many residents wrote to the council voicing concerns about the club, while other residents fiercely defended the venue, and a Change.org petition to keep the nightclub open amassed over 36,000 signatures ahead of the council meeting.

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Fabric nightclub in Farringdon, London

The club has been allowed to keep its licence but under a series of new measures, including the implementation of sniffer dogs outside the venue, an ID scanning system to be put into operation for clubbers entering the building, and thorough searches to be performed on people.

The measures were suggested by the Metropolitan police and agreed by the council’s licencing committee on Thursday night.

While Fabric’s owners have reportedly agreed to the sniffer dogs, each dog and handler is estimated to cost the club £300 per four hour shift, and will make the club the first in London to have sniffer dogs regularly on patrol.

Speaking to the Evening Standard, club founders Cameron Leslie and Keith Reilly have said they will appeal the conditions on their club’s licence as they “fundamentally disagree” on a number of points.

At the committee meeting, Mr Reilly said: “In 15 years we have had six million people come through our doors and sadly there have been four deaths.”

He said the club’s management does everything it can to stop people taking drugs on the premises, but added that the UK has become “awash with drugs,” and that “a large batch of MDMA that’s got more powerful” has been catching out young people.

Fabric said in a statement on Friday: "In light of last night’s review, we’d like to stress that fabric will continue to work with the Met Police and Islington Council. We’ve always taken great pride in our relationship with both parties and the open ended nature of our communication. Nevertheless we are disappointed with the outcome of last night’s review and the fact that our points weren’t taken on board. 

"We’d like to stress that none of the proposed measures will come in to affect until after the outcome of an appeal process."

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