After months of speculation, Sudbury Conservative Club is set to close, with last orders to be called at the end of the month.
The club’s closure has been subject to rumours for many months but has been confirmed by employees, who have given notice to groups and members that it will close from June.
Sources close to the New Street venue had revealed its likely closure at the beginning of May, and while clubs have been told and memberships ceased, no official confirmation has been made.
One group which has been forced to move away from the club, which has stood for more than 100 years, is Georgeena Butler’s Slimming World.
The popular group used to meet there on Tuesdays but have since found new residence at the snooker hall in North Street.
“They just said due to not enough trade and the costs of running the venue they couldn’t keep it open,” said Mrs Butler.
“Along with the headquarters they agreed that it was better to close.
“I was told at the beginning of May that I had six weeks.
“They have said they are not ordering again, when the alcohol runs out I guess that will be it, there will be no reason to stay.”
Slimming World is one of several groups that have been forced to move, another being the Sudbury branch of the Royal British Legion.
Mrs Butler, from Acton, said that finding a suitable replacement venue had been difficult, especially for a group that has 160 members over four sessions.
“I’ve had such a horrendous time,” she said. “There is no venue to hire all day in Sudbury.”
Luckily for Mrs Butler her members came to her aid, searching for a new place to meet before they finally found an answer.
“One of my members is the landlady of The Prince and she knew that the snooker hall in North Street has a new function room,” Mrs Butler said.
Nevertheless, Mrs Butler said she was sad to move on.
“We have been there two years and they have been fantastic in supporting me,” she told the Free Press.
“It’s just heartbreaking because lots of people have worked there for years.
“It’s a shame, it’s an old building and it’s a part of Sudbury that should be enjoyed, now it’s just going to sit there and decay.”
Peter Burgoyne, political agent for South Suffolk, agreed.
“It’s certainly a place with a lot of history and connections with Sudbury,” he said.
“Once these things are gone, they are gone.”
Mr Burgoyne had previously told the Free Press that membership had been declining and that the hours of the club had been cut back.