PLANS for a new live music bar in Irvine town centre have been refused by councillors.

North Ayrshire Licensing Board refused to grant a licence for Lyrics live music bar at the former Kiss nightclub in Bridgegate.

Derek and Amanda Finnigan hoped to have a licence to redevelop not only the premises but the unsightly area surrounding the Forum Shopping Centre and the rotting former Ruby Tuesdays.

The couple want to bring live music back to Irvine town centre - in a similar style offered by venues like King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow

Representing the Finnigan’s at the board meeting on Monday, December 12, Brian McMahon said: “They have recently left the Harbour Lights which was very successful and became a real community hub.

“However, like many other pubs, they were making lots of profit for the brewery but not much for them.

“They created an excellent reputation for live music at the Harbour Lights and they want to bring that to Bridgegate.”

He added: “This would be like King Tut’s in Glasgow, a good bar with live music.

“They plan to revamp the Bridgegate square and clean it up. 

“At the moment it looks like an air raid site.”

The Board disregarded an anonymous objection letter submitted to councillors.

Mr McMahon added that “adult entertainment” provided at Lyrics would purely be for hosting comedians as stated in the application.

The Finnigan’s have taken on a lease for the building and, according to Mr McMahon, discussions have already taken place with the Rivergate Shopping Centre about taking over the Bridgegate square as a whole.

Chief Inspector Brian Shaw from Police Scotland, who attended the meeting, said the police had no objections to the proposals.

Concluding his application, Mr McMahon said: “In terms of live music this is very, very different to what’s on offer.

“We’re putting on something that does not exist at the moment. 

“This is to do something new and different and hopefully you’ll bear that in mind.”

After a ten minute adjournment, Councillor Donald Reid moved to approve the application subject to the removal of adult entertainment which was seconded by Councillor John Easdale.

Licensing Board Vice Chair, Councillor Tom Marshall, proposed to refuse the application on the grounds of over-provision seconded by Councillor Grace McLean.

The application was refused by four votes to three.

Councillors Marshall, McLean, Ronnie McNicoll and Robert Barr voted for and Councillors Reid, Easdale and Catherine McMillan against the plan.