Legion’s future still hangs in the balance

PUBLISHED: 16:24 17 August 2011

The Royal British Legion branch committee to decide on the best option to take.

THE future of the Royal British Legion Club in Honiton is still hanging in the balance as discussions continue to decide its fate.

The club closed following a special meeting with the Royal British Legion who took the decision to close the club as a result of debts that had built up over a number of years.

A spokesman for the Royal British Legion said that the charity, which owns the site, is discussing its options at this time and will decide on the best way to proceed.

The spokesman said: “The club secretary is working to finalise the affairs of the club and the keys will be handed over to the branch and the lease surrendered. After that the property will be looked after by the branch committee.

“The committee had a meeting and there are three options open to them, including finding a new leaseholder to take over the building, to run the building themselves and keep it open for bookings, or sell the property.”

No decision has been made and the committee are still looking into the options available to them.

He added: “The branch has got to consider all the implications these options may have on it. Our duty is to the charity’s aims and all of that has got to be looked in to.”

The sudden closure has come as a shock to many residents and club members, who were not expecting the Dowell Street venue to close so soon.

Joanne Barnes, 22, said: “It is a shame the British Legion Club is going – it is going to be a loss to the town as a lot of social events used to be held there.

“I was surprised that it closed, but everything else is closing.

It was the only place where they had events as there isn’t really anywhere else in the town.”

Sue Broom said: “It is really sad that the Legion has closed as it has been around for such a long time.

“Lots of groups use it and they are now going to have to find somewhere else to meet, but, hopefully, they can sort something out.

“It seemed that one minute it was there and the next meeting they were having a meeting and then it was gone.”

Her daughter Chloe, 9, said: “I used to use it for my street dance classes and now I am not going to be able to.”

Michelle Dymond, 35, said: “I didn’t really use the Legion Club, but it is a shame as it is a loss for Honiton.

“It was an impressive venue.

“I was shocked to find out that it had closed – I didn’t expect somewhere like that to close. It is a shame. There are not enough places in the town to hold events and others tend to be quite pricy.

“It is a sign of the times because people can’t afford to spend the money on going out but, on the other hand, people need to try and support local businesses, otherwise they are going to go.

“I thought the Legion had time to try and turn things around.

“The club is part of Honiton and part of the fixtures and fittings and we expected to always see it there.”

Doreen Bartlett, 81, said: “It is such a pity. It was a problem getting there because it was a long way out of town. I am sure it will be a loss to Honiton.

“I do hope something can be done to keep it for the community but it won’t have any effect on me.”


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