A COMMUNITY-SPIRITED councillor has volunteered to lead a team to work free for six months in a bid to keep the doors open at the legendary Delph Club.
Warnings over the club’s future were revealed in a letter to residents in December from the committee which asked for support to keep the Gartside Street venue going.
There was little response and closure loomed – until Cllr Nicola Kirkham, an independent on OMBC and Saddleworth Parish Council, suggested an idea to keep the premises open.
Cllr Kirkham attended a meeting about the club’s future with long-time villagers Gillian Buckley and Mike Leighton at the invitation of club committee man Alan Shackleton.
Explaining her idea, she said: “The team would run the club voluntarily for six months with the help of members and the community to see if we could get it back on its feet.
“As a borough councillor, I offered support and advised on legalities including licensing and funding.
“I offered my help as a local community member in bar work, cleaning and book keeping. After six months, we would revue the structure of running the club.
“The general feeling in the community is we do not want to see this fantastic venue close but we need volunteers to help.
“However, it’s understandable people have busy lives and some cannot commit to such a request.
“But it’s just not viable for three people to run the club alone without commitment from the existing members. I do still hope a team would come forward.”
Mr Shackleton said: “The meeting served to demonstrate how few active members we have left.
“Several of the committee are worn out by the effort of keeping the club going for the last few years.
“The meeting’s conclusion was it would need a more radical boost in active members and replacement of committee members than Cllr Kirkham and her friends could offer at the moment.”
He added: “We are determined to leave the door open to any local initiatives. We plan to put out some public notices asking for proposals for the future of the club or the building.
“This may obviously turn up some offers for the building involving a change of use, but we’ll see.”
The club are now seeking proposals on what they deem the most beneficial to the club, its members and the community.
Closing date is Saturday, May 22 and no further proposals will be accepted after this point.