Mystery shrouds closure of club

Gary Cook, who has been a member of Norcross Social Club for 40 years, is concerned that the temporary closure announced recently may mean the club never-re-opens.'Gary outside the Norcross site (no photos allowed on or near site) with his snooker cue. PIC BY ROB LOCK'11-1-2011

Gary Cook, who has been a member of Norcross Social Club for 40 years, is concerned that the temporary closure announced recently may mean the club never-re-opens.'Gary outside the Norcross site (no photos allowed on or near site) with his snooker cue. PIC BY ROB LOCK'11-1-2011

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A POPULAR sports and social club will close today to allow a review of the premises to be carried out.

The closure has left members of Norcross Civil Service Social Club concerned for the venue’s future.

Bosses say it is only a temporary closure while HASSRA, a government organisation which runs the club, carry out reviews of all their premises.

But members say they have been ‘kept in the dark’ and are concerned the review is a cover for a more permanent closure.

Gary Cook, a member of Norcross Snooker Club, said he was told that the club was closing for good.

He said: “I’m shocked and worried about this news because I am hearing different things from everyone I speak to.

“On Tuesday we were told the club was closing and although all our fixtures would be honoured there would be no bar.

“Staff said they had been told there was going to be a two month refurbishment but that their jobs were in jeopardy.

“The club has had refurbishments before but has never had to close because of it, I would have thought they wouldn’t want to lose the money.”

Mr Cook, a former employee of the Department for Work and Pensions said the closure would have a big impact on the area.

He said: “There are hundreds of people who use this club and even a two month closure is a big deal.

“I don’t think enough information has been given to members and it is my belief that this will be the last hoorah.”

Robert Veitch, Vice Chairman of Norcross Cricket Club, said he was ‘totally in the dark’.

He said: “I don’t know what is going on, our AGM is scheduled for the next couple of weeks so I’m not sure what we will do.

“If the closure lasts longer than expected or does turn out to be permanent it will have a huge impact on our club.

“Hopefully we will find out more about this because at the moment I haven’t got a clue what is going on.”

One club member who did not want to be named, said he was angry at the way the situation had been handled.

He said: “People seem to be very quiet about this, why were we not told sooner about this review - these things don’t happen over night.

“In my opinion this is an extremely profitable club so I’m stunned by the review.”

HASSRA is run by the Department for Work and Pensions.

A DWP spokesman said: “The HASSRA Fylde Sports and Leisure Association is currently carrying out a review of all its clubs and operations, to ensure that they continue to serve members’ interests effectively and efficiently.

“Although pre-booked functions will be honoured, members at Norcross Social Centre will be notified of a temporary closure from January 10, while the review and a partial refurbishment are carried out, with normal service being resumed in February”.