A popular tourist attraction near Anstruther has been given permission to host late-night functions for up to 700 people.
Scotland’s Secret Bunker, at Troywood, has been granted a licence to sell alcohol on Fridays and Saturdays until 3.00 a.m., and midnight on Sundays, and will be able to host what have been described as ‘raves’ or nightclub-style events at the venue.
The bunker is allowed up to 200 people inside at any one time, and now has permission to accommodate another 500 outside in marquee-type facilities in the grounds.
Concerns were raised by the police at last week’s Fife Licensing Board meeting, but James Mitchell, who runs the bunker, convinced board members that events held at the venue would be safe.
The police expressed concerns should there be a need to evacuate the premises and, due to its location, the response times for the ambulance or fire services.
A police representative said: “We have concerns about 200 people in an underground bunker under the influence of alcohol, which is different from 200 people visiting a tourist attraction.”
Mr Mitchell, however, insisted he would never put on any event at the bunker without taking all necessary steps to protect the public. Eight stewards would be underground at any such events and he would always have first aid cover on site provided by St John’s Ambulance, or similar organisation.
Mr Mitchell also admitted he was a “control freak” and wouldn’t allow anything at the bunker to put anyone at risk. A ‘challenge 25’ policy was strictly enforced in relation to the sale of alcohol, and controls prevented more than 200 people being underground at any one time.
Mr Mitchell said: “The Secret Bunker is, first and foremost, a museum, and I wouldn’t allow anyone to damage the museum in any way.”