A social club in the shadow of Deepdale Stadium says it is on the brink of financial collapse due to coronavirus lockdown.Advertisement
St Gregory’s Social Centre in Holme Slack Lane, Deepdale, has been serving the community for 47 years.
As it’s an annex to the adjoining St Gregory’s church is doesn’t pay business rates so cannot access emergency funding from the government.
Preston City Council is dishing out £10,000 to £25,000 small business grants to pubs, clubs, and other small firms but St Gregory’s is excluded.
A crowdfunding page set up to help the club has secured £9,130 of the target £10,000 total.
Chairman of St Gregory’s Catholic Social Centre Alan Hamilton said: “Many of our club members are elderly and sadly widowed.
“The club is a vital opportunity for social interaction for which, many members living on their own, is a welcome respite from lineliness and good for their mental well-being.
“We closed up on Friday March 20 to comply with the government announcement and hoped we may be able to survive in the light of the government’s support package to small businesses.
“The city council informed us the club was not eligible for the funding as we do not pay business rates as it’s exempt.
“We’ve written to the chancellor and the business secretary explaining the situation but have received no response as yet.
“We cannot afford to take out loans and very much doubt that we would qualift given we just broke even last year and only made a very small profit the year before.
“With no income and we still have bills to pay we desparately need help now or we will have to permanently close at the end of this month after 47 years of providing hospitality to the local community.
“I appeal to all our club members, customers and football fans who have enjoyed the club’s hospitality to make a donation and help save the club from closure.”
Read more: Tenants looking for new homes as Community Gateway Association prepares to close two schemes
Preston MP Sir Mark Hendrick said he has contacted both the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government for advice on whether any support is available for the social club.
PC Paul Elliott, who runs the PNE Police Twitter account, has backed the campaign saying ‘many a football fan has enjoyed a pre-match aperitif so please donate’.
Read more: Preston snuggled up for the Big PNE Sleep In to support The Foxton Centre
Read more: See the latest Preston news and headlines
Do you visit St Gregory’s? Will you be donating? Let us know in the comments below