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Shotton Lane Social Club closed because of health and safety concerns

A COMMUNITY club with spiralling arrears has been closed because of health and safety fears.

Shotton Lane Social Club was shut down on Monday after North Wales Fire and Rescue Service raised concerns about its rundown state.

The club is massively in debt – owing thousands of pounds to brewery giant Carlsberg.

Club secretary Nigel Ellis said on Friday: “It’s all down to Carlsberg, it’s in their hands now. The club owes them that much money they could call in the debt any time. They’ve got the deeds so it’s up to them.”

Earlier this year the Chronicle reported Sandycroft couple Christine and Alan Jones were in talks to buy the club.

Mr and Mrs Jones, who ran The Phoenix in Sandycroft from 1986-96, had been trying to agree a deal since August last year. But they withdrew their offer recently and the future of the club now looks bleak.

Christine, 65, grew up in Shotton Lane and her father used to be on the club’s committee.

The couple wanted to run the venue as a pub under the same name and restore it to its former glory but, after protracted negotiations, decided against the venture.

Christine said: “We’d have been accumulating debt from day one.

“I’m disappointed and we didn’t take the decision lightly.

“I’m sorry I’ve let the old regulars down, but trade had fallen away so badly it just wouldn’t have been viable.”

Paul Maloney, of Manchester-based finance firm Mazars, said the venue was closed on Monday after discussions with the fire service.

He said while the club remained open there was a possibility of committee members being prosecuted because of the state of the building.

Mr Ellis would not disclose the level of debt the club, which is owned by the committee, is in.

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