Sheffield Hallam University is leading the objections against Spearmint Rhino calling it “ludicrous” to have a strip club near a university which offers a world class education.
The university says the lap dancing club could seriously undermine its Campus Masterplan, a five year project which will see major multi-million pound development of the Cultural Industries Quarter with a new gateway to the university.
But one young female student has written in support of the club, saying removing a “safe workplace for women is irresponsible”.
The controversial club will go before councillors to renew its sexual entertainment venue licence on Tuesday, June 19.
In a letter to the licensing board, Sheffield Hallam says: “The route for our students takes them directly past the venue around the clock. Our students are entitled to and need to feel safe and secure during their studies and Spearmint Rhino will undermine the perception of safety, equality and diversity.
“A striptease club in the heart of the Cultural Industries Quarter is inappropriate. It gives a negative impression of Sheffield and undermines the considerable improvements that are planned for this part of the city.
“Sheffield Hallam recently launched its ambitious and visionary Campus Masterplan to great acclaim both locally and nationally. Sheffield Council has had significant involvement in this.
“It will see the creation of a University Green on Arundel Lane, immediately adjacent to Spearmint Rhino and we are concerned this will have a greater negative impact on what will be a highly positive and substantial investment by Sheffield Hallam.
“Spearmint Rhino is in no way educational. It is ludicrous to think that such a venue be sited anywhere near, let alone within, an area where tens of thousands of students descend from all over the globe to receive a world-class education.
“There are now far too many compelling reasons for the council not to renew the licence. If it were to renewed, we believe the council would be placing itself into conflict regarding its own plans for the development of the city centre and jeopardise investment.”
There have been a number of objections about the club, the majority saying it is out of place in a cultural area frequented by families and it goes against the council’s own policies on equality and gender rights.
But one female, 22-year-old student says: “To say strip clubs cause abuse to women everywhere is just mistaken, we are subject to that whether or not there are strip clubs in our city.
“Removing a safe workplace for a great many women without consulting with them or whether that is what they want and need is irresponsible at best and at worst, will cause direct harm. To do so is not feminist.”