An urgent campaign has been launched to save the Chorlton Irish Club from closure. Campaigners believe the club must continue as a vital community venue and that plans to sell off the premises and land are unnecessary.
The case for closure was outlined to club members in an email on Wednesday 6 March.
In it the committee stated that the situation has now become urgent with outstanding debts immediately due. Members have been invited to a meeting on the 3rd April at which the proposal is expected to be put to a vote. The club has stopped accepting membership applications.
A campaign group, the Friends of Chorlton Irish Club, has been set up to oppose the plans, and has received the backing of Withington MP Jeff Smith and Chorlton councillors John Hacking, Eve Holt and Matthew Strong, who have expressed their support for retaining the venue as a community asset.
A spokesperson for the group said:
“The club is a vital venue, not only for the Irish community, but also for Chorlton and the surrounding areas. It hosts over 30 different community organisations and activities. It is a thriving centre for Irish culture and its community uses range from zumba classes to comedy nights. It also is heavily used for private functions such as birthdays, christenings and funerals, regardless of any Irish links. There are very few bookable community spaces like it in the area.
“We believe the club could be built into a vibrant and sustainable community asset for the long-term. We cannot understand the rush to sell off the club site with such little warning. This is not in the best interests of the Irish community nor the people of Chorlton and the wider region.”
The Friends of Chorlton Irish Club group has launched an online petition and want the club committee to withdraw its proposal in order to allow time for alternative plans to be developed.
The online petition was launched on Thursday 14 March 2019 and can be found at https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-chorlton-irish-club The group intend to deliver the petition to the committee in advance of the EGM (Extraordinary General Meeting) scheduled for Wednesday 3 April.