Upset after Great Yarmouth social club shuts

A BRIDE to be and a dance instructor are among customers who have been left upset after a well-known Great Yarmouth venue suddenly closed.

Northgate Social Club, which sits within the grounds of Northgate Hospital in Churchill Road, shut up shop after bailiffs moved in when it fell behind in rent and payments.

Staff said they did not want to close the popular venue but a lack of income had led to problems keeping up with bills, which resulted in them eventually being evicted.

Nicola Hall, who was due to hold her wedding reception at the club, was left upset by the closure and said she had not been told it was shutting.

The 30-year-old added: 'The only reason I found out was because I phoned to find out a seating plan and they told me it was closed. It was disappointing because I had my heart set on it.

'I'd already sent my invites out so had to re-write them and send them out again. And we have now had to search round and find another venue. It's just extra hassle.'

Nicola and her fiance Mark have managed to find an alternative venue for their big day in October and will now hold their reception in Caister.

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But Anna Cook, who held weekly dance classes at the club, is struggling to find an alternative venue within the borough.

'It's left me with some unhappy dancers because the closest class I've got is Kessingland,' she added. 'It's a shame because for dancing it was a lovely dance floor and there's so few venues now for dancing.'

George Baxter, club secretary, said staff 'didn't really have any option' but to close after bailiffs came calling a few weeks ago.

He added: 'This year was a disaster really, we didn't have any bookings until the fourth month. We were struggling to pay the rent, it was getting harder and harder.

'We didn't want it to happen, we tried hard to try and keep it open.'

Mr Baxter apologised to anyone with bookings who had not been informed of the closure.

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust owns the building the social club was run from and rents it as a separate business.

Jonathon Stewart, strategic estates manager for the trust, said the club was evicted by a court bailiff after 'defaulting on payments ordered by a judge'.

He added: 'We regret any inconvenience caused to anyone that had bookings with the business, however it would have been irresponsible for the trust to allow personal debts to continue to grow.'

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