Glasses raised to club's future
A SOCIAL club facing closure over financial problems has won a reprieve after holiday takings helped pay the rent.
Families rallied round to help struggling Sinfin Moor Social Club after the Derby Telegraph revealed its plight.
Bailiffs had given members of the club until Tuesday to pay December's rent of £3,000.
The target was met after the club's Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day takings topped £5,000.
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The club also had a profitable New Year, with the bar taking a further £3,000.
Treasurer Ann Morley, who last week appealed for locals to support the club, said she was delighted with the community's response but warned that the club still faced a tough future.
She said: "We had a very good New Year. It's now important that those who came to the club to celebrate keep coming back.
"I envisage 2010 still being very difficult but I think we'll be able to stay open. By hook or by crook, we'll keep it going."
The club had 3,000 members in its heyday but that figure has since fallen to below 300. Like many other social clubs, Sinfin Moor has found the going tough in recent years, with competition from cheap alcohol at supermarkets and the effect of the smoking ban.
It has struggled to pay its annual £30,000 rent and still owes landlord Trust Inns about £27,000.
Debt collectors were sent to the club, in Arleston Lane, on December 21 but an agreement was reached before they entered the building that gave committee members a few days to come up with the rent.
Although the club still has large amounts to pay off, Mrs Morley said she believed it would survive.
Club chairman Paul Ormond said he was delighted the club had been saved for the time being.
He said: "Since the debt collectors came, I've been in every night and a lot of people have said they want to keep the social club going.
"It's been a fantastic response and I'd like to thank all those who helped pull the club through a crisis."
Baggy Shanker, councillor for Sinfin, said: "I think the committee and the community have done extremely well to get this money together over the Christmas period."
Mr Shanker said he had set up a meeting between Derby City Council, which owns the land on which the club is built, Trust Inns and the social club committee.
He said: "The council leases the land to Trust Inns and part of the agreement is for Trust Inns to use the land for community use. I hope a solution can be reached to make the rent more affordable."