THE owner of a Bridgwater nightclub has defended its £1-per-drink student night promotion.

The Palace, in Penel Orlieu, changed its Wednesday night student promotion a fortnight ago. Customers can now get £1 drinks all night, having paid a £5 entry fee.

Under the previous student night promotion, drinks were priced £1.50 all night, but entry was free to holders of the student NUS card.

The move is aimed at younger drinkers, but it has come under fire from 19-year-old Rebecca Andrew, from Bridgwater.

She said she and many of her friends feel pricing drinks at £1 promotes irresponsible drinking.

She told the Mercury: “It’s encouraging binge drinking and I think it’s ridiculous. There has to be some sort of law that says drinks cannot be sold at a certain price.”

Rebecca told the Mercury she has been to The Palace once, but would never go back.

However, Clive Lilley, owner of The Palace, said his staff make sure people who have had too much to drink are not served more alcohol.

He said: “I’m not one of those people who doesn’t care what goes on inside.
“We run it professionally; it’s not a free-for-all.”

Mr Lilley, who also runs The Gallery pub in Bridgwater High Street, which offers £1.50 drinks on Friday and Saturday nights, said the promotions had been introduced because of the huge competition he faced from other alcohol sellers, including supermarkets.

He said: “We are trying, in a very hard environment, to stay in business. I don’t think people realise how hard it is.”