The campaign to save Preston’s principal West Indian social club is in full swing following the approval of Tithebarn plans.Advertisement
Preston City Council’s £700m plan for Tithebarn has caused problems for Jalgos, which will be forced to relocate to make way for space for buses to reverse into.
The Jalgos Sports and Social club was formed almost 50 years ago and a campaign is ongoing to prevent their building from being subject to a compulsory buyout.
Stephen Poleon, an indispensable part of the campaign, describes himself as having been “somewhat adopted by the West Indian community here in Preston” and has serious worries for the future of the club.
He is a key member of the S.O.C. (Save Our Club) Jalgos Sports and Social Club campaign group on Facebook and said: “Tithebarn want to build a new bus station on Manchester Road. And Jalgos is on Rose Street which is adjacent to the bus station.
“Jalgos is the only building they want to demolish because they want to reverse buses into that space.”
The cultural importance of the club is why Stephen Poleon is behind the campaign. He added: “It’s the only West Indian social club of its kind left in Preston, perhaps even the North West. Everyone is welcome and a lot of elderly people visit on Tuesdays.
“It is a visiting place for other West Indian social clubs around the country that meet in Preston. It is somewhere people have weddings, christenings and funerals.”
Preston Council hopes Tithebarn will benefit as many people as possible in Preston. The whole council is said to have unanimously supported the regeneration plans.
Stephen Parkinson, Head of Communication at Preston Council, said: “Our Chief Executive has met personally with the people from Jalgos. We are aware of their concerns, we have met with them to see how we can help them and assist them during the next stages of Tithebarn.
“There is still a lot of work to do and we’re not in a position yet to decide exactly when work will start on Tithebarn,” he added.
Jalgos were initially outside the mapped lines of development put forward by Tithebarn but are now affected by the secondary plans drawn up by Preston Council.
The Facebook campaign group can be found at S.O.C. (Save Our Club) Jalgos Sports and Social Club.