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Upper Morris Street Luncheon Club members are worried as they were told they had to move premises to Ridyard Street only for that decision to be altered and now they are unsure about where future meetings will be held

Upper Morris Street Luncheon Club members are worried as they were told they had to move premises to Ridyard Street only for that decision to be altered and now they are unsure about where future meetings will be held

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THE FUTURE of a Wigan social club which provides a lifeline for local residents is still in doubt.

Committee members at Upper Morris Street Working Men’s Club, in Scholes, say they have been left in the dark about its long term future and fear it may close.

More than six months ago, members brought in the help of financial company Minotaur Clubs Partnership to keep the club open after it got into financial difficulties.

The company, which works to save clubs from closing, has given the club almost £10,000 to stay afloat.

But the firm’s bosses say the problem is in the hands of Barclays, which has a mortgage on the property, although it is struggling to negotiate with the bank.

Glyn Jones, who runs Minotaur, said: “We have given an awful lot of money to keep the club going and have been working towards a solution for six months.

“We have been trying to engage with Barclays, but no-one is co-operating.

“Because of this, we fear that the club may have to close, We are getting to the point where we can’t keep the club running without further creditors spending money.”

The financial difficulties are posing a problem for Upper Morris Street Luncheon Club, which provides hot meals for the over 50s from Monday to Thursday.

Towards the end of last year, the group was told it had to vacate the premises and move to Ridyard Street, in Worsley Hall.

But in a last minute u-turn, the group was able to remain at the club thanks to Minotaur, but members are worried how long they will be able to stay there.

John Shaw, a member of the committee, said: “The club got into in a bit of financial difficulty and so has been helped by Minotaur.

“We are trying to get in discussions with the company about whether we can stay at Upper Morris Street.

“We are in limbo at the moment and there are no guarantees our club will stay open. We need stability and assurance.

“Our club brings people from all over Wigan. A lot of these people are single and have a good chat with their meal.

“We need to stay open.”

Minotaur is helping around 500 struggling social clubs all over the country to either merge together, recruit new members or look for alternative funding.

Ward councillor Jean Peet, who supports the luncheon club, said: “Members of the club are really upset as they don’t know what is happening.

“Because the group was moving, it missed getting a grant and so I have promised to give them £700 from my Brighter Borough fund. The club is very successful and I don’t want to see it closed, as it is great place for people to get a meal and have a chat.

“It is also a great opportunity for the probation service, as members doing community service prepare the meals, helping them to gain a job later in life.”

A spokesman from Barclays said he was unable to comment on the club’s financial position.