Noise complaints could see seafront bar forced to close

NOISE complaints have forced a bar owner to campaign for funds for soundproofing in a desperate bid to avoid closure.

Bar 42 owner Mark Knowles hopes to raise £5,000 to reduce noise to neighbouring properties, after several complaints were reported to Worthing Borough Council.

WH 200115 Bar 42, in Marine Parade, Worthing. Launched a campaign to find �5,000 to soundproof bar after noise complaints. Facing an uncertain future and could close if it can't find the cash. Owner Mark Knowles. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150121-091100001

WH 200115 Bar 42, in Marine Parade, Worthing. Launched a campaign to find �5,000 to soundproof bar after noise complaints. Facing an uncertain future and could close if it can't find the cash. Owner Mark Knowles. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150121-091100001

Without urgent improvements to the Marine Parade venue, he says he risks losing his licence and closing the bar.

“If it goes to a review, we will lose our licence and it would kill the music scene in Worthing stone dead,” he said.

“We had an acoustic report done and the verbal feedback is the soundproofing isn’t thick enough, so the complaints are going to continue until we get it sorted.”

Mr Knowles, 42, runs the bar alongside his parents, who fund it with their retirement fund.

While the bar attracts a regular stream of customers, the ‘tough’ industry has seen cash flow suffer.

He reluctantly set up a Kickstarter campaign, where the public agrees to pledge a certain amount of money in return for an incentive, such as festival tickets and exclusive band merchandise.

More than £1,500 has been raised in the first week but the full £5,000 must be pledged before the February 16 deadline.

Mr Knowles said: “The night-time economy is dead but we are doing ok because we have got a regular crowd.

“We are at the forefront of certain music genres. There is nowhere even in Brighton, really, which play certain types we do. A lot of bands start here before moving on to the larger venues.”

The bar also hosts free rehearsal sessions for new bands and wants to eventually improve its layout to include seating and a new stage.

If its soundproofing issues were sorted, Mr Knowles would consider applying to extend his licence until 2am to provide alternative DJ nights to boost the town’s night-time offer.

A spokesman for the council confirmed it was investigating the complaints.

They said: “Following incidents where loud live music was witnessed by our officers in neighbouring properties, the bar operator was advised to employ the services of an acoustic consultant to come up with solutions to resolve the issues.” For more information, visit www.kickstarter.com/projects/1384109477/save-forty-two-and-make-it-more-awesome-at-the-sam