Opposition to nightclub name change plan

A NIGHTCLUB owner is facing opposition from the police and local politicians over plans to rename his venue.Derek Smith is considering dividing his Vita nightspot in Sudbury into two separate clubs and renaming them “FU'' and “FU2''.

Russell Claydon

A NIGHTCLUB owner is facing opposition from the police and local politicians over plans to rename his venue.

Derek Smith is considering dividing his Vita nightspot in Sudbury into two separate clubs and renaming them “FU'' and “FU2''.

But police and town councillors have united in their opposition to his plans which they fear may cause public offence and lower the tone.

The names were originally thought up by Mr Smith as a way of branding his newly acquired town centre pub with his already established nightclub.

But after taking over the vacant Pied Cow in King Street three weeks ago, Mr Smith has decided to remarket it as a 25-35 year old contemporary bar and feels the “FU2” brand would not be appropriate for the target demographic.

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However, he is currently intending to keep the names if he decides to divide Vita into two linked venues, during a major refurbishment which is likely to go ahead in around eight month's time.

Logos have already been drawn up but the rebranding of the East Street club has been met with opposition from officials in the town.

Inspector Crick, of Suffolk police, said he believed the names were a publicity stunt which could cause officers problems on the streets.

“I do not support either name and feel that this is primarily a publicity stunt,” he said. “Should he proceed I will consider what options, if any, current legislation offers in terms of prosecution for causing public offence.

“The police in partnership with Babergh and Sudbury Town Council continue to work hard together in order to improve the positive experience of visiting Sudbury both during the day and evening. I feel that if licensed premises bear such names it can only lower the tone and work against our joint aims. I sincerely hope that both the Licensee and Punch Taverns reconsider this matter.”

Sue Brotherwood, clerk of Sudbury Town Council, said they fully supported the local police's stance.

“We can imagine someone being stopped by the police and them asking where they have been to be told 'FU' and it would be inappropriate,” she said. “Other individual councillors feel the same. We have got a sense of humour but this is not funny.

“It just does not seem necessary in a place like Sudbury.”

Of the police and council objection Mr Smith said: “It is a farce. In my view you have FCUK which is a great brand and works really well.

“Vita is supposed to be an edgy brand for 18-25 year olds who are not going to think 'I'm not going there because of that'.

“The signage will not be displayed in an obscene way.”

He said Punch Taverns are not responsible for the name in any way and Vita was run as a freehold.