After 70 years, time is finally up for sugar club

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AILING finances mean one of Spalding’s social clubs will close its doors at the end of this month – with no hopes of it relocating elsewhere.

The committee behind the British Sugar Sports and Social Club have revealed it will close on April 30, after months of attempting to turn around its fortunes.

The club in West Marsh Road had been forced to reconsider its future after building owner InterGen announced its intention for it to be demolished to make way for a Spalding Power Station expansion.

The club had then been tasked with coming up with a robust business plan for South Holland District Council in a bid to gain vital cash from the Section 106 fund for a replacement facility – a plan which has since failed.

Chairman Tony Harper said: “We met with accountants but on our past form there is no way we can make a sound business plan.

“It became obvious that we could not carry on. We threw the towel in because having to prove to the council that it was a viable concern was impossible.

“The committee decided there was no future in it. We had to look at what we had to do in real terms rather than what we would like to do.”

The social club was already established by the 1940s to serve employees at the British Sugar factory, which opened in 1925.

It had up to 400 members in its heyday but this has since dwindled to about 230.

A number of clubs using the building as a home, including the bowls team, have also folded as a result of the social club’s uncertain future.

Mr Harper said: “While everyone says it’s a shame, we are in a situation where if we had more support we could have carried on.

“Everyone is sad. It’s the end of an era.”

Club members hope to go out with a bang, with a disco on Saturday, April 28, from 7.30pm for past and present members, and a nostalgia day on April 29 from 12pm.

Anyone with old photographs and other club memorabilia is asked to take it along on the day.

Other remaining events include a Northern Soul night on April 21, and a sequence dance on April 29 from 7.30-10.30pm.

An auction to sell off the club’s remaining assets will be held in due course after its closure.