The Hilt, York: Police object to Viking-themed venue's request to serve alcohol to axe throwers

Police are urging councillors to reject an application by a York venue which would allow customers to drink alcohol during axe throwing sessions.

The Hilt, in Goodramgate, has asked City of York Council to remove conditions which restrict the sale of alcohol until after people have finished their session.

The venue, which describes itself as “an immersive Viking axe throwing experience”, says they have not had a single accident since opening in September 2019.

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The Hilt’s licensing application states: “The Hilt is one of York’s premier attractions, but axe throwing venues are becoming more and more common, and some of our competitors have recently managed to obtain a crucial edge over us.

York city centre

“Potential customers can go to our competitors to throw axes, and they can have a drink while they do it.

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“We are very keen not to be left behind in this increasingly competitive space, and we have carefully considered how this application might be implemented in the safest and most responsible way possible. “

But North Yorkshire Police has said the application is “littered with inconsistencies”.

Police sergeant Jackie Booth, force licensing manager for NYP, said only one other axe throwing venue in the county - in Craven - had permission to sell alcohol, with the same conditions The Hilt currently has.

“[A]llowing alcohol before and during the activity sessions could increase the risk of harm to staff, and other customers,” Sgt Booth said in her statement.

A council environmental health protection officer said: “In my opinion consuming alcohol whilst throwing axes is a risk to the public.”

The Hilt said in its application that any alcohol would have to be pre-purchased when booking online, with drinks limited to two per customer and no spirits for sale.

Councillors on the licensing sub-committee will consider the application on Monday, May 16.