Glasgow’s pubs and clubs will stay open longer during COP26

Pubs, clubs and restaurants in Glasgow will be able to stay open for an extra hour during COP26.

What’s happening? Glasgow’s Licensing Board has agreed to allow one additional hour from the terminal hour when the United Nations climate conference is held at the SEC.

When will pubs and clubs be open longer from? The decision applies to venues with a premises licence allowing the sale of alcohol on site — and will run from October 31 to November 12.

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Board members made the decision on Friday 17 September in private after hearing from a Police Scotland representative.

A report presented to the board revealed: “The Licensing Board may, if it considers it appropriate to do so in connection with a special event of local or national significance, make a determination extending licensed hours by such period as the board may specify in the determination.”

The Licensing Board report added: “As well as a curated programme of events intended to complement the main COP26 programme, there will be various fringe events across the hospitality and events sector within the city in order to encourage businesses and residents to get involved in the climate change conversation.

COP26 presents an opportunity for an animated and vibrant ‘COP City’ to promote a successful conference, a successful host nation and a safe and secure event.”

Denise Hamilton, from the neighbourhoods and sustainability team, recently told a meeting of the city’s local licensing forum that the council hoped the event would “benefit hospitality and licensed trade”.

She said a “difficult balance” between helping “businesses to thrive” and preventing the spread of Covid-19 would need to be found.

“We want Glasgow to benefit from having COP in the city, but we also want to ensure that our businesses and residents are not put at risk.”

What is COP26? The aim of the meeting is to speed up the process of reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention of Climate Change. It was originally due to take place last year, but was delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Who is attending? Around 30,000 delegates from across the world are expected to arrive in Glasgow for the major climate talks, which have been billed as the world’s “last best chance” to avert the worst consequences of the climate crisis by US climate envoy John Kerry.