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Real Axe with a point and a pint

View profile for David Darlington
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Fieldings Porter’s David Darlington, an Associate Solicitor in the Commercial Department, recently advised Real Axe Ltd on the opening of a new axe throwing venue in Dunscar Business Park on the outskirts of Bolton. The new venture sees customers compete against each other in axe-throwing lanes. The lanes feature two large targets where throwers can compete head to head to see who can hit the target and who is just wide of the mark.

In what is believed by our client to be a first in the UK, Real Axe also features an American-style 120 seat restaurant and smokehouse with a fully licensed bar. The restaurant and bar have viewing areas over the throwing lanes. At night time when the axes are safely put away the throwing lanes convert to additional function areas where live acts or films can be shown.

When Real Axe director, Simon Atherton, first came to see us to discuss his new business idea David quickly identified the need for our help with both the commercial lease of the premises and a premises licence if Real Axe Bolton was to serve alcohol and become a night time entertainment venue. David also recognised the need for pre-application consultations with the responsible authorities in the local area in order to obtain a smooth passage through the licensing application process. David and Simon worked together on how to present the venture at its best to the responsible authorities including the series of safety measures that would help to give the authorities and the public the comfort that this is a venue where axes and alcohol can co-exist for a perfect night out because they never mix.

Safety is one of Real Axe’s main concerns with throwers given non-tamper wristbands on entry meaning they will not be served before they have thrown axes. The police have also leant Real Axe a breathalyser to avoid any disputes over levels of intoxication.

David introduced Simon to members of the local responsible authorities and following the pre-application discussions secured the premises licence as drawn following a consultation period with no objections. Once the premises licence was secured David could turn his attention to securing Real Axe’s lease while Simon got on with the business and venue planning.

It would be very easy to dismiss business ventures of this type as being unlikely to secure the licences required, but David’s experience and can do attitude coupled with the client’s desire hit the bullseye for Real Axe.

Real Axe Bolton opens to the public on 18th October 2019 and we wish Simon all the best with his new business adventure.


If you need any assistance with Licensing, Property or Business matters contact David Darlington, Associate Solicitor at Fieldings Porter.