Pubs could unite to ban stag parties

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Stag parties could be banned by pubs in a historic part of the country in a major bid to drive up standards. Around 30 pub and other local traders in...

Stag parties could be banned by pubs in a historic part of the country in a major bid to drive up standards.

Around 30 pub and other local traders in Edinburgh's Grassmarket aim to tackle the Old Town square's reputation as a rowdy binge-drinking destination.

Bars such as The White Hart Inn and the Bull want to make the most of the area's potential as a family-friendly visitor attraction.

Moves to be discussed also include installing CCTV and sharing information about groups of potential troublemakers.

For many years the cobblestoned Grassmarket, once the scene of public hangings, has been a favourite haunt of boozy stag and hen parties from around the UK.

Ann Allen, manager of food-led venue The Lot, based in a former church, said: "I'm not personally in favour of banning anything if it can be managed properly and doesn't cause a problem, but everything is up for discussion.

"Millions of pounds have been spent on redevelopment of the Grassmarket and what we want to do is foster the sort of environment that appeals to local people and visitors with families."

One publican, who asked not to be named, said: "Things are changing. If people come in now dressed as Elvis, or nuns, we tell them to clear off."

Some bars already operate a total ban against wearing fancy dress or football colours.

Various societies and community groups have campaigned for years to change the image of Edinburgh's Old Town, which is a world heritage site.

However some publicans argue much of the rowdiness comes from busy venues in the adjacent Cowgate area.

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