A SOCIAL club which was facing closure in its centenary year is celebrating a council decision to offer funding relief.

As reported, members of Highbridge Social Club feared it would have to close due to “severe financial difficulties”.

But Sedgemoor District Council has now approved the club’s application on hardship grounds for a reduction in the business rates the club pays for its base.

Club chairman John Akers told the Weekly News: “We were paying nearly £10,000 a year – getting on for 10% of our gross income – and the council has agreed to reduce this by 50%.

“This is great news and the saving to us will give a great boost to the measures we have already put in place to ensure the club not only survives, but grows.”

Mr Akers added: “This is all the more important now the club is the only such facility in the town.”

He also said no decision has been taken to close the club, nor is that now likely in the foreseeable future.

The club, in a modern building in Church Street, is home to many skittles and darts teams, and has a range of facilities, including function rooms – which are still open for business.

“Anyone who has booked can be assured of that,” said Mr Akers. “We may also offer membership at concessionary rates and are looking at changing the club into a sports and social club, which would provide more facilities for the community and entitle us to apply for all sorts of public funding.

“The club must also persuade people to use it or lose it.”

For more information call 01278-782446.