Fear over Labour Club’s future

Standish Labour Club in Smalley Street
Standish Labour Club in Smalley Street

One of Wigan’s last surviving Labour clubs faces an uncertain future.

Standish Labour Club in Smalley Street has raised concern in the village after posting large Notice of Emergency General Meeting (EGM) posters in its windows.

But officials today declined to discuss any proposals and recommendations due to be put to the key gathering of members only on October 9.

But a member said the club has mounting debts in common with so many other such long-standing institutions.

And he claims it is set to ask members to approve a package of measures that will change its constitution and see it drop out of the National Union of Labour and Socialist Clubs (NULSC) fold.

He said that in exchange for a “financial life-saver” loan, the club committee will be offered management support from a leisure group which specialises in such rescue moves. However one of the conditions will be that it changes its name to the Standish Sports and Social Club in the process.

If the club fails to generate enough to pay back the loan over a given period, ownership of the club will revert to the leisure group.

It would then be a very attractive proposition for redevelopment - possibly apartments - because of its location right in the centre of Standish.

Developers may also be eyeing the healthy annual lease revenue paid by the adjoining Ladbrokes bookmakers, which was built on Labour Club-owned land.

The club, which only appears busy on a Saturday evening, faces stiff competition for drinkers from the Standish Unity Club - formed from the membership of St Marie’s Catholic Club and Standish Legion - just 100 yards away.

While from Standish Community Centre in Moody Street competes against it as a special events venue.