DCSIMG

There are alternatives places for residents

Gary Jones is concerned about the future of Christ the King Social Club which is under threat of closure.  He is pictured 2nd left with other club users.

Gary Jones is concerned about the future of Christ the King Social Club which is under threat of closure. He is pictured 2nd left with other club users.

A Blackpool estate could be left without a social centre if development proposals lead to a club being boarded up, it is feared.

The Christ the King Social Club on Chepstow Road, Grange Park, is part of a site earmarked for redevelopment by Blackpool Council.

The diocese has agreed to sell the land to the council, with Christ the King Church set to relocate to a new building adjacent to St Mary’s RC School.

Although council chiefs say there are alternative sites, regulars at the social centre say they are uncertain about its future.

Club general manager Gary Jones said: “There are no actual plans for this site so all they are going to do is come in and board it up.

“But we have about 300 members and we run lots of activities including pensioners’ bingo, and teams including snooker, darts and football. If the club closes, there won’t be any kind of social centre left on the estate.”

Gordon Hurley, who is the club’s accountant, said: “The council is proposing to buy the land from the diocese but we believe any redevelopment is a few years off.

“We’re worried if they close the club down, it will be left boarded up and vandalised.

“Instead, we would like the council to keep it running. Since the Dinmore pub closed, this is the only social centre left.”

Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard, who is supporting the residents, said: “The council is going to be demolishing the flats and shops, and rebuilding the general area, but no-one knows when that’s actually going to start.

“The concern is the social club will close and there will be nowhere to go on the estate any more, which is such a shame.

“It’s one of the few remaining social hubs in the immediate area. We’re asking the diocese and the council to come together and find a way to ensure the social club can stay open.”

Plans to build new homes and shops at Chepstow Court were revealed around five years ago by but so far no development has taken place.

Christ the King Church has already closed with masses being held in Christ the King School until a new church is ready.

 

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