THE new owners of the former Dockers Club have been told they can operate two function suites in the premises — as long as they keep Police Scotland in the loop.

Local businessmen Billy Bateman and Thomas McKendry, who also own Cruden Hall and The Exchange next door, applied for a new licence.

They told a hearing that they want to run a function suite on the ground floor as well as upstairs.

Licensing Board convener Councillor Ronnie Ahlfeld said: “The licence will be granted on the condition that Police Scotland are advised of functions beforehand.”

During a debate prior to the decision being made, owner Mr Bateman tried to reassure the board that this procedure would not be necessary.

He said: “We have policies in place.

“We would have three stewards on the doors.

“We don’t allow 18th, 19th or 20th birthday parties. 

“We wouldn’t allow an engagement party upstairs at the same time as say a 21st.

“The problem is we could be busy for five weeks in a row and then quiet for a couple of weekends.

“It will not be open to the general public at any other time.”

The Dockers, which was one of the last remaining social clubs in the town, closed last year. Businessmen Mr Bateman and Mr McKendry stepped in and snapped it up for around £200,000.

Their planning application to convert the downstairs bar hall into a function suite was recently approved by Municipal Buildings officials.

Their legal representative Seamus Lamb said: “The owners are experienced and have run Cruden Hall for a number of years with no problems whatsoever.

“I think the board can trust them.”