Snooker club to close as VH ‘tenancy’ not renewed

23 Sep

The village snooker club is to close at the end of this year following the Village Hall’s refusal to grant a new lease.

The club was a foundation member of the Village Hall having been previously based at the Village Institute which was sold and the proceeds used to extend the planned Village Hall built in 1986 to include the Snooker Club at their request. Since then the snooker club has operated from its own rooms with some of the best facilities in its league but has had problems with membership figures in recent years. The Snooker Club’s financial input – some twenty thousand pounds in 1986 – gave them a substantial rent free period. When this expired, they were persuaded to sign a licence, a form of lease, and paid an increasing rent over the years and contribution to overheads.

The Village Hall committee has struggled to maintain a break even position in view of continuous renewal of facilities required as a 28 year old building gets inevitable wear and tear. This is only maintained, they say, because of hard work put into wedding hire and continuous fundraising events. The snooker club is the only village group which requires its own dedicated rooms. The committee feel that if they were able to lease out the space on a commercial basis they may attract valuable income, far in excess of the income the Snooker Club pays.

The Snooker Club feels aggrieved by the situation and has voiced its concerns in the village newsletter and in representations to the Parish Council. At the September meeting of the Parish Council representatives of the Snooker Club outlined these concerns and the Chairman and Treasurer of the Village Hall outlined the thinking of the Village Hall committee.

The Parish Council asked if the Village Hall committee might allow the Snooker Club an extension until the Spring on the grounds that this would allow the club to take part in one more season (the league running from Sep to Apr) as a new tenant might not be found as early as January 1. However, the Chairman of the Village Hall said the situation was non-negotiable, the committee had passed a unanimous decision and therefore the Snooker Club had to leave by Dec 31.