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Ipswich: Closure threatened Bourne Vale Sports and Social Club has ‘turned a major corner’ in rescue bid

15:48 30 April 2014

Members of the Bourne Vale Club in Ipswich. Back L-R: Steve Youngs, Peter Laflin, Front L-R: Sharon Reeves, Ann Jordan, Vivien Knights and David Knott.

Members of the Bourne Vale Club in Ipswich. Back L-R: Steve Youngs, Peter Laflin, Front L-R: Sharon Reeves, Ann Jordan, Vivien Knights and David Knott.

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A sports and social club in Ipswich threatened with closure has “turned a major corner” in its rescue bid thanks to a “substantial” increase in usage.

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Members of the Bourne Vale Sports and Social Club were told last month that they needed to raise £12,000 before their lease expires today to remain open.

After an emotional plea for support in the Star and “record-breaking” fundraising efforts over Easter, committee members now say there is “a light at the end of the tunnel”.

Speaking before a members’ meeting at the club’s Halifax Road site last night, co-manager Martin Taber said “a substantial lifeline” had been thrown to the club.

“With the members working as hard as they have been we now stand a good chance of surviving and moving forward,” he added.

“We’ve turned a corner, there’s now a light at the end of the tunnel and we’re going to keep pushing hard to save the club.”

Mr Taber said Bourne Vale – which has been in existence since 1936 – had struggled during the recession with mounting debts and membership numbers dropping from around 600 to just 192.

Last year, he said, was “one of the toughest” on record and forced the committee to take the decision to consider closing.

“It wasn’t something we took lightly,” he said. “It was the toughest decision we’ve ever had to make.”

After the threat was announced, however, Mr Taber said there had been a “substantial increase” in usage, helping the club to balance its books and look to the future.

And with fundraising events, including an Easter Sunday family fun day, netting close to £5,000, Mr Taber said the immediate dangers had been reduced.

Moving forward, the committee is keen to appeal more to families, host a wider range of events and support more new football, cricket and bowls teams with improved facilities.

“Collectively, the members are working as hard as possible to achieve that,” he said,

To find out more about membership contact the club on 01473 687685 or email thebournevaleclub@btconnect.com

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