Wolverhampton banquet suite shut down by police given new licence under new management

A banqueting suite in Wolverhampton that was shut down after police found a secret £700,000 cannabis factory on the premises has been granted a licence to trade under new management.

The Diamond Banqueting Suite in Skinner Street. Photo: Google
The Diamond Banqueting Suite in Skinner Street. Photo: Google

The Diamond in Skinner Street, in the city centre, was raided in April 2021 following a tip-off, when officers found around 700 plants with a street value worth more than £700K on the black market and growing equipment on the upper floors. Four men were later arrested.

Licensing bosses on Thursday gave approval for the licence with a series of conditions attached. Concerns had previously been raised by West Midlands Police, environmental health and public health as well as the licensing authority.

The licensing committee heard that mediation had since taken place between the applicant’s agent and concerned parties, and a series of proposed modifications to the application agreed on.

Fears were also earlier raised over the question of whether the previous premises licence holder, Mr Paramjit Singh, would be benefiting financially from the business in any way, but the committee was told he would have no part in its operation or management. The new designated premises supervisor (DPS) was named as Valentin-Costin Galriva.

Council solicitor Angela Bernard sad: “The licensing committee has proposed modifications in the operating schedule and these will replace the original conditions.

“They have also decided that the licence should be granted for an initial period of six months and that the opening hours for this premises will be Sunday to Wednesday from 6pm to midnight. The opening hours from Thursday to Saturday will be 6pm to 3.30am.”

The venue is located in the St Peter’s ward, which is within a Cumulative Impact Zone (CIZ) – an area where evidence has indicated that the number, type or density of licensed premises is impacting adversely on the licensing objectives of crime and disorder, public safety, public nuisance and the protection of children from harm.

Originally opened as a cinema in 1937, the premises was later a Mecca Bingo hall before becoming a banqueting suite. It has three events rooms which can accommodate up to 750 people and was registered to host civil weddings, conferences, parties and resident DJ nights before the licence was revoked. It also boasts the only glass mirror ball in Wolverhampton.

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