Future of club hangs in balance

Drop Folder News/ ATEX News. Pic Kevin Allen.'The Corporation Club, Dean Road.'103708a.
Drop Folder News/ ATEX News. Pic Kevin Allen.'The Corporation Club, Dean Road.'103708a.

UNCERTAINTY surrounds the future of Scarborough’s Corporation Club in Dean Road.

The club is situated on land which Scarborough Council has agreed to sell to Tesco, yet on the supermarket’s plans for the site there is no sign of the venue.

The club’s lease is protected by security of tenure, which means that Tesco will be under obligation to provide a new home for the club, if it is knocked down to make way for a new superstore.

Despite this, committee member Peter Webster says he and the 650 club members are completely “in the dark” as to the venue’s future.

“We had a meeting with Scarborough Council about a year ago,” he said. “They told us they would be back in touch within six weeks but we haven’t heard anything since.

“A lot of people will miss it if it’s not there any more. We’ve come through a recession and a lot of people have done a lot of hard work to keep it afloat.

“In many ways it’s like a community down there, especially for the older people. There is a good rapport between people, and we have a good relationship with local businesses.”

Tesco will not own the land where the club is situated until planning permission is granted for a new superstore to be built.

Mr Webster said that if the venue is demolished, it will be the end of three-quarters of a century of history.

“It was built by the workers for the workers,” he said. “They gave it back to the council and they rented it from them.”

Mr Webster’s wife, Trish, works behind the bar at the venue. She says she has been worrying about her job for the past year.

“I think it’s inevitable that a supermarket is going to happen but they can’t just shut our business down,” she said. “All we want to know is what is going on.

“I’ve started getting new qualifications just in case I don’t have a job any more. I’m not going to work in Tesco – it’s not for me.”

A meeting held by the Scarborough Town Against Tesco Store group was held at the club earlier this month, and attracted nearly 100 people.

A small committee has been elected and the group hopes to organise a protest in the coming weeks. A petition which they organised has attracted more than 2,000 signatures.

Tesco have claimed that their new store will revitalise the Dean Road area, create hundreds of new jobs and increase the number of people visiting Scarborough.