Clubs in Glasgow will be allowed to stay open until 4am - after new proposals from the city’s licensing board were approved.
The new rules will allow clubs to apply for an hour-extension to the current 3am closing time of most venues in the city.
It will be trialled for a year in nightclubs before the City Council considers rolling it out to late night pubs.
Venues would be considered for the later hours if the licence holder can prove they have prioritised public safety, securing gold status.
City licensing chiefs hope longer opening hours could further boost the city’s night-time economy, which already generates £2.6billion annually and supports some 16,600 jobs.
Following the pilot, how the premises themselves have performed will be evaluated but there will also be a wider evaluation of the impact of 4am licences on the city centre as a whole.
A spokesman for Glasgow Licensing Board said: “The board is determined to both broaden and deepen excellence in the trade.
“We recognise the vital role that well trained and well-supported staff play in delivering on our statutory licensing objectives.
“We see the new policy statement as a means to incentivise best practice within Glasgow’s pubs, clubs, restaurants and other licensed premises.
“The plan for the 12-month pilot of a 4am terminal licensed hour for nightclubs is a good example of the approach of incentivising good practice.
“The additional hour will only be available to licence holders that can demonstrate a level of excellence in the way they manage their premises.
“Factors such as a commitment to staff training and social responsibility, good employment practices, investment in safety and security and a reduced reliance on single-use plastic could all help make the case for the additional licensed hour.
“If a licence holder wants an extra hour of opening for their venue as part of this pilot, then they have to show a willingness to go the extra mile with how they operate.”
But the plan has not been so warmly received by Paul Waterson of the Scottish Licensed Trade Association.
He said: “We don’t believe that clubs should be open after 3am.
“We think 3am should be the terminal hour as far as we are concerned.
“There should be a clear differentiation between pubs and nightclubs.
“Supervision after 3am is very difficult as are transport links after that time.
“We don’t believe it’s a good idea.”
A spokesman for Alcohol Research UK said: “It’s the responsibility of local licensing authorities to look after the number and density of alcohol retailers in their area, as well as the times of day at which alcohol can be sold.
“This is a responsibility which should be taken seriously, as greater availability of alcohol is often associated with more alcohol harm in the areas where it’s sold.
“This harm goes far beyond street drinking to higher levels of alcohol-related health conditions, hospital admissions and more.”
Donald MacLeod, 57, who owns the Garage and the Cathouse on Sauchiehall Street, said: “I think it’s brilliant, it’s a fair policy.
“It is a pilot scheme but I think it should be more concentrated on nightclubs rather than pubs.
“There are many reasons why I say this, clubs engage with communities, they have first aid resources, CCTV and trained stewards.
“You want to be in a place where you know there is someone to look after you in case anything happens.
“Having this in Glasgow is perfect. Glasgow is famous for its nightclub scene so this would be a game changer.”