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Ruling announced for Manchester’s Night & Day

Manchester’s iconic Night & Day Cafe will continue as a music venue and nightclub, following a lengthy court battle over a noise complaint.

The 220-capacity venue was served with a noise abatement notice in November 2021 by Manchester City Council licensing after being reported by a resident who had moved to the city during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The complaint sparked a lengthy legal battle (costing a reported £160,000) as well as a petition to remove the Noise Abatement Notice (NAN), which was signed by 94,000 people including Johnny Marr, New Order, Courteeners, Frank Turner and Mogwai.

A ruling was announced this morning (18 March) during a Manchester Magistrates’ court hearing, where District Judge Margaret McCormack said that a nuisance was being created by the venue, particularly due to it running from 11 am to 3 am on Friday and Saturday nights.

However, she argued that the Northern Quarter, where Night & Day Cafe is based, is a “lively, vibrant” area, but as the city evolves, its “usages are changing” – which means the area can now be considered mixed-use.

McCormack ruled that the venue will be allowed to remain open under new conditions, including a maximum volume level at weekends. The venue now has 28 days to make the required changes.

The venue will be allowed to remain open under new conditions, including a maximum volume level at weekends

“I am satisfied that this is a reasonable, practicable level which could be offered by sealed sound limiters to seal music levels. I am told the existing sound system can achieve this aim,” she continued. “I therefore amend the NAN [to say] Friday and Saturday use should not exceed the levels of test one. The measures are to be taken by professional acousticians and sealed in the system.”

The owners of Night & Day Cafe responded: “We are delighted that the Noise Abatement Notice has been amended in favour of N&D with the judge agreeing to noise levels that we offered to Manchester City Council (MCC) in June 2023 as part of the joint testing and negotiations.

“This means we can continue with the club nights that N&D and other live music venues are so dependent on. DJ club nights contribute to developing the raw, amazing talent and emerging live music scene that grace our stage, Manchester and beyond.

“Although N&D has won, we’re disappointed with today’s judgement as the venue will have to adjust our club nights to suit an occupier of what is a defective apartment. MCC Planning approved the apartment back in 2000 in full knowledge that there would be serious potential for noise problems in this flat and before any resident moved in. Today’s decision has huge implications for other Manchester nighttime industries and operators. ”

Night & Day Cafe is just one of countless grassroots music venues that have come under threat in the last year.

Music Venue Trust recently revealed that 2023 was the worst year for UK venue closures since its launch a decade ago. According to its annual report, published in January, 125 GMVs (16%) closed last year – a rate of two per week – with 38% of venues reporting a loss in 2023. The report can be accessed here.


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