After almost 17 years working in other people's bars and nightclubs, Carlisle DJ Marc Allan is set to open his own.

Having almost bought the old Buskers nightspot many years ago, it has remained an ambition to have his own place.

Turning 40 later this year, an opportunity presented itself and he decided this time the time was definitely right.

Marc is busy putting the finishes touches to new party bar Queens, which will open on Botchergate at the end of July.

By the time it opens he will have come full circle, from a young DJ looking for work in the city to one ready to employ the next generation and give Carlisle's nightlife a new kick.

Marc is well-known across the city, having DJ-ed in almost every pub and club in Carlisle over the past 17 years.

Originally from the north east, Marc was an up-and-coming actor and performer when he first came to Carlisle.

He had previously starred in Byker Grove - the Newcastle-based children's TV drama which rocketed Ant and Dec to fame back in the early 1990s. Marc was just a teenager himself, playing a drug dealer from the rival youth club Denton Burn.

Going to drama school, he went on to work as a Butlins Redcoat and had roles in various shows and commercials, including the award-winning film The Magdalene Sisters, shot in Dumfries.

Marc's agent was Carlisle-based Phil McKay, so he would come over to the city regularly to meet him. While here he met his then girlfriend and they later found out she was expecting a baby.

It was then that Marc decided to set down some roots in Cumbria. Having been starring in a Las Vegas style 1970s show, he decided to get into DJing and rang around bars looking for work.

"I remember Yates wine lodge saying I could do a 1970s night so I went to Woolworths and bought a box of CDs and some headphones. That was my very first shift as a DJ," he laughs.

Having celebrated the birth of son Brooklyn, Marc was also enjoying life on the DJ circuit.

"From there I must have worked everywhere. Buskers, Club XS, Terminal 1, all the pubs and clubs in between.

Queens bar logo

"I'd always wanted my own spot - I nearly bought Buskers at one point - but the time was never right," he says.

These days Marc is still DJing, with residencies at Walkabout and Deja Vu and a popular following across the city.

But he has never given up his ambition of owning a bar, and now it is finally set to be realised.

The premises is in the former World Buffet restaurant, right next to the existing Bronx sports bar.

"This opportunity just came up. I knew the premises was empty and a friend said it would be ideal. Straight away I had this vision of what I wanted to do and how it could work," he said.

Marc decided to call it Queens to keep up the New York theme, and wants to create a US-inspired atmosphere.

Work is underway to fit it out with a stage and performance area and complete the interior and exterior by the end of July.

Marc, who now also has a 10-year-old daughter Madison, intends to keep on both of his current DJ residencies, as well as adding some regular stints at his new bar.

His best friend and experienced licensee Steven Donaldson, known as Stevie D, will be in charge of the day to day operations.

The bar will feature Queens dancers and performers, cabaret shows, live music, celebrity guest appearances, comedy nights and more.

He said it will be a party bar, giving Carlisle revellers somewhere to dance and have fun. He said is aim to give the city back something that has been missing from the local scene for years, which he believes will bring more people out on a weekend.

Marc Allen Queens will also open through the day on a Saturday, aimed at hen parties and groups who want something other than live sport.

"Carlisle used to be a massive party town. There are places to go if you like certain types of music but most people just want to go out on a Friday and Saturday and find somewhere they can dance.

"It's just creating that atmosphere and giving people a reason to come out. I'm not out to compete with anyone else. I want to do something different," said Marc, who adds that the music will range from Steps to Little Mix, Tina Turner to Michael Jackson.

"It's just party music. The kind of stuff you can have a dance to and singalong. Just a really fun place. I've worked in Carlisle long enough to know what people want. I just hope they support it."

Queens will also serve American-style food on weekends and will initially open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, plus some Sundays.