LICENSING chiefs have been warned to consider the wide-ranging implications of extending opening hours for Glasgow’s pubs and clubs.

The city’s Licensing Board has launched a consultation on whether to run a 12-month pilot scheme to allow ‘late night entertainment venues’ to open until 4am.

And that could also open the door for 5am closing times during Christmas, New Year and bank holidays.

Earlier this week, Donald MacLeod, the owner of the Garage and the Cathouse, claimed longer hours could kill nightclubs in the city.

And yesterday Glasgow City Council’s deputy leader, David McDonald, said: “As I understand it this is a proposal for a pilot project to allow certain late night premises in the city centre to have a terminal hour of 4am.

“There are a number of implications of a later licence scheme into the city and that is why there is a suggestion of a pilot scheme.

“There are a range of topics that need to be considered, such as the impact on police and partner agencies, the availability of late night transport, the implications for other parts of the licensed trade and how it impacts on strategies for alcohol.”

The consultation is part of a wider package of reforms being proposed, from reducing reliance on single-use plastic to tightening rules on restaurant opening hours.

During the European Championships in the summer, city centre pubs, clubs, restaurants and hotels were able to apply to stay open for an extra hour.

Currently, the proposals for the extended hours are included in a draft policy statement, which could be dropped when the Licensing Board makes a decision later this year.

If the Licensing Board does push ahead with the pilot scheme, premises that can demonstrate they make a positive contribution to the night time economy would be invited to apply.

Those businesses would need to show evidence that they have invested in safety and security measures, staff training and potentially would need to gain ‘gold’ status in the Best Bar None industry accreditation scheme.

Police Scotland confirmed that they would not oppose the pilot scheme.

But earlier this week, Donald MacLeod said: “I would be all for this if it was nightclubs only.

“I lost a £3 million unit in Aberdeen because the hours were getting extended.

“Most folk in the trade that I’ve spoken to don’t want it.

"Where are the resources for the police and the NHS?

"There is a big problem here.

“There’s nothing wrong with having proposals and pilot schemes but should we not have it firmed up more on public transport and on the resources before its put out there?”

The draft statement also includes proposals allowing 16 and 17 year olds to remain on licensed premises until 11pm, with the curfew for those under the age of 16 being 9pm.

Members of the Licensing Board put forward the consultation after a study by the Moffat Centre at Glasgow Caledonian University found that the city’s night-time economy generates £2.16 billion per year and supports 16,600 full-time jobs.

The consultation closes on October 5 and the final policy statement is expected to be published by the end of the year.