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Crowland RBL Hall under threat of closure



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One of Crowland's most popular community venues could be closing after more than 200 years.

Committee members for Crowland's Royal British Legion (RBL) branch have written to both county officers and parish councillors, informing them of their decision to shut the hall, in Broadway.

Community groups and events, including slimming and dance classes, wedding receptions and public meetings, have been held at the hall in recent years.

Sarah Phillips (left) and members of her slimming class at Crowland's Royal British Legion Hall in December 2017. Photo: SG041217-117TW.
Sarah Phillips (left) and members of her slimming class at Crowland's Royal British Legion Hall in December 2017. Photo: SG041217-117TW.

But Reg Boot, RBL committee vice chairman, said: "Our long-standing secretary and treasurer feel that the hall is not fulfilling its basic purpose of supporting the RBL.

"It's not as popular as it used to, the armed forces have shrunk over the years and many RBL branches are closing.

"We've been lumbering along with a committee of four, which is a basic requirement of an RBL branch, but the usage of the hall has declined.

Crowland Cancer Fund held its annual cheque presentation evening at the RBL Hall in May 2019. Photo by Philip Jackson.
Crowland Cancer Fund held its annual cheque presentation evening at the RBL Hall in May 2019. Photo by Philip Jackson.

"So a letter has been sent to the RBL county office and the clerk to the parish council clerk whose members will meet in October.

"The decision to close the hall has been made with a heavy heart and I fear we're losing an asset to the town, which is a hammer blow."

Crowland district and county councillor Nigel Pepper said: "The RBL Hall is an important part of our community and is the only real large indoor space we have in Crowland, suitable for parties and community events.

"It is the type of building needed in Crowland more than ever, with the increase in population and when large spaces are required to meet COVID-19 restrictions.

Crowland district and county councillor Nigel Pepper speaks at a public meeting on policing, held at the town's RBL Hall in August 2018. Photo: 020818SG-9.
Crowland district and county councillor Nigel Pepper speaks at a public meeting on policing, held at the town's RBL Hall in August 2018. Photo: 020818SG-9.

"The building is also in really good shape after community fundraising for a new roof and will be a terrible loss for the community.

"It saddens me also because my family have had an affiliation with the building for generations and my grandmother has her name cast in stone on the exterior of the RBL Club, which came about as her parents contributed financially to the construction of the building when she was a little girl.

"Also, my late father was chairman of the RBL Crowland branch for many years.

"Therefore, I really do hope that in some way or the other this decision can be reversed."

A Royal British Legion (Midlands) spokesman said: "The property in Broadway, Crowland, is now closed.

"It was formally used as a Royal British Legion Club and as a Branch-occupied property.

"Unfortunately the building was no longer financially viable and the Branch took the difficult decision to close it.

"Next steps will now be taken by the RBL’s property team to move ahead in placing the building on the open market."



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