Scunthorpe Conservative Club to close on January 1 after 126 years
THE Scunthorpe Conservative Club is to cease trading on New Year's Day, after 126 years in business.
The decision, taken by a special general meeting of some of the 1,200 members, will also mean the loss of nine jobs.
The club's general manager, Steve Bunn, confirmed the bars in Doncaster Road would close in the early hours of January 1 after all the stock had been drunk.
Mr Bunn said: "The Cons Club has been a part of Scunthorpe's history since 1887, so it's a real shame. But we had no alternative if we were not to run into serious financial problems.
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"All our creditors will be paid in full and we have arranged to sell the fixtures and fittings, including six snooker tables, by private negotiation."
At present, the Conservative Club closes on three afternoons a week in order to cut down on overheads.
Mr Bunn said: "Like other clubs in the town, we have been hit by a number of factors, including the smoking ban and cheaper alcohol being sold in local pubs and supermarkets.
"At the same time, clubs like ours and what we have to offer no longer appeal to the younger generation."
The closure comes just four years after the members agreed to sell off the 77-year-old building for £350,000 in order to clear off debts and re-establish the business.
The building was bought in 2008 by local steel firm boss Dave Chapman, who has been a member for almost 40 years.
Mr Chapman, 68, and the committee had been due to meet soon to discuss the renewal of a five-year lease on the premises.
He said: "It is regrettable the members and officials have decided on this course of action. But now I shall be looking at the market for potential buyers."
Arrangements have been made to transfer the Conservative snooker and home games teams to the nearby Brumby Hall Social Club.
The Cons will be the 10th club in Scunthorpe to close since the smoking ban was introduced in July 2007.