Burrage Centre at James Paget Hospital to close

A SOCIAL club at the James Paget University Hospital has been forced to close due to falling trade.

The Burrage Centre staff and social club will close on Monday after being affected by the economic downturn in a similar way to many pubs and clubs in the Yarmouth borough.

The shutdown has also affected the BWell gym, based at the centre, which will be moving to new premises on the Harfreys industrial estate in Great Yarmouth in May.

In 2009, the hospital's Trust transferred the running of the centre to the private company Burrage SC Ltd, which wanted to operate the club for the benefit of the hospital's staff and expand their function facilities.

However, the number of members using the centre dropped resulting in the decision to close.

In a statement, a spokesman for the hospital said a full assessment of the risks and benefits was carried out before the transfer took place.

She said: 'The board of directors was assured of the Trust's strong will to find a viable and workable solution to support the Burrage Centre for the continuing benefit of staff, social club members and the local community.

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'This has not been possible, despite significant investment from Burrage SC Limited.

'The sports and social club was not used by a large number of the social club members and it has suffered in much the same way as similar clubs and pubs in other areas.'

She added the Trust decided not to take on the management of the centre as it's core business was in providing healthcare and time spent managing the centre would have taken resources away from front line health services.

'Having considered the company's business plan, the Trust does not see any potential for future financial viability of any alternative option presented.

'Therefore the decision has reluctantly been taken that the social club will cease trading as there is no chance of the club being able to continue,' she said.