The large cannabis factory has been found inside a city centre nightclub, police have confirmed.

In the early hours of Monday, November 20, officers executed a warrant at the Vodka Bar and Nightclub on Upper Brook Street.

Inside, officers discovered a large number of cannabis plants at various stages of growth. All plants will be seized and destroyed once an investigation is carried out. 

MOST READ: Police constable accused of behaving 'aggressively' towards woman in Winchester bar

The nightclub closed in May 2023 for a summer refurbishment. 

At the time, one of the co-owners told the Chronicle: “We're closing for a refurb which is something we do every year. It's just time to freshen the place up."

They confirmed that the club would reopen in September, but the Vodka has remained closed. 

The warrant was carried out by officers from the Winchester Priority Crime Team, Neighbourhood Policing Team, Criminal Investigation Department, Joint Operations Unit, Licensing and Intelligence Operations.

A video released by Hampshire Police shows officers gaining access through the gate to the club during the raid. 

Police officers remain at the scene of the cannabis factory on Tuesday, November 21. 

A 54-year-old man from Winchester was arrested on suspicion of producing a controlled drug of Class B and acquiring/using/possessing criminal property. He has been bailed with conditions until 20 February while police enquiries continue.

READ MORE: Man arrested after cannabis factory discovered in Winchester city centreHampshire Chronicle: Police remain at the scene on Upper Brook StreetPolice remain at the scene on Upper Brook Street (Image: Newsquest)After the raid on Monday, Inspector Matt Kirby said: “We will continue to investigate what we have found today to bring those responsible to justice.

“The reason why we take this kind of thing so seriously is because any production of drugs is linked to hidden harm.

“Large-scale operations are often run by organised crime groups, who are often connected to very serious violence.

“Finally, we are very aware that our actions took place in a busy city centre. We have tried to minimise disruption as much as possible, and we would like to thank the local community for their patience.”

The owner of Vodka Nightclub has been contacted for comment.