ONE of Worcester's most rundown buildings is to be transformed into a new nightclub - with up to 50 jobs being created.
The former Images nightspot, located in The Butts opposite The Hive, is to become a new Mamma Jammas club aimed at the over 30s.
The city council's licensing sub-committee gave the plan the green light yesterday after three hours of debate despite fierce objections from West Mercia Police, which insisted it would increase crime.
But the panel won over by businessman Jonathan Jones, who runs a Mamma Jammas in Hereford and has vowed to create a building "Worcester can be proud of".
He says he wants to market the club at the older age range, calling it a "real ale" nightspot for people who "listen to Radio 2" and want to have a drink and dance, particularly those in their forties and fifties.
He insisted the venue would not be aimed at students, and will bring a new offer to Worcester's existing nightlife.
A special sub-committee meeting was held at the Guildhall after objections from the police, environmental health on noise grounds, and from Dean Hill who runs Tramps and Velvet Lounge.
Sergeant John Lawrence, part of the city centre policing team, said when the building last became empty in February 2012 after Funk nightclub closed down crime dropped steadily.
He said alcohol related incidents "in the vicinity" fell 25 per cent, adding: "There is clear evidence that having a nightclub at this location leads to an increase in crime."
But Mr Jones said: "We'll be a nightclub that sells real ale rather than shooters and shots - our customer base is older and that's how I like it."
It is expected to open before the end of the year and will have a licence to trade until 4am on Friday and Saturday nights, as well as 3am the rest of the week.
At the end of the meeting Councillor Roger Knight, who was chairing it, said: "The building has been a concern to us for quite some time, it's been empty for quite a while and it's right opposite The Hive, which is iconic, the only facility of its kind in Europe.
"We want the building improved so it's something we can be proud of, not something we cringe about - we implore you to excel in that."
Mr Jones said he was aiming to restore the building to its former glories.