A central Reading ping pong bar and pizzeria has won a new licence despite failing three inspections in a row.

Eclectic Bars Group, who run Smash, worked with Thames Valley Police officers to put forward a viable application for the bar, which included reduced hours and 14 new conditions.

The Lola Lo and Brighton Pier owners said £300,000 will be invested into the bar on 5 Gun Street.

Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) licensing sub-committee approved the application, which splits the current licence for the premises into two, despite concerns from the licensing officer.

Smash will reduce its sale of alcohol hours to midnight from Sunday to Wednesday and 1am from Thursday to Saturday.

It previously had licensable hours till 3.30 am Monday-Thursday, 4.30am on Friday and Saturday, and 2.30am on Sundays.

Smash representative Andrew Woods said the reduction in hours would have a positive impact on the area.

The business will also ensure that 40 per cent of its capacity is seated, with an additional 20 per cent at ping pong tables, as part of the licence agreement.

The application was supported by Thames Valley Police (TVP) officer Declan Smyth, who said: “We have had numerous meetings with the applicant. We feel that the applicant has taken steps to reduce the negative impact on the Cumulative Impact Area.”

Failures at the previous inspection included door supervising and provision of CCTV.

Richard French, licensing officer, said: “I am not convinced that the conditions will be followed.

“There have been three inspections and three pretty poor failures. The only person who has been capable of putting it right is the operation manager."

Alex D’Aguiar, operations manager at Eclectic Bars Group, said: “We have learned from our mistakes. It won’t happen again.

“I took on the business in June. We have spent the last few months rectifying. [TVP officer] Simon Wheeler has given us a clean bill of health.”

Eclectic Bars Group previously submitted and then withdrew an application to split the premises with Bar Fever Ltd which would have seen Coalition, above Smash, replaced by chain nightclub Fever. The application was withdrawn after receiving objections from RBC's licensing team and TVP.

It is not clear what the owners plan to do with the nightclub, also formerly known as Sakura.

The bar group was approached but chose not to comment.