OXFORD City Council could step in to save a social club in East Oxford.
Council leader Bob Price has said the authority could stump up the funds to help save the closure-threatened Gladiator Club in Iffley Road.
But he said the council would only be able to part-fund the deal, but it would be conditional on the community group fighting to save the club providing the rest of the money.
Mr Price said: “If the club is able to put in a certain amount of money there may well be a deal to be done on a joint purchase.
“We are in the early stages of doing due diligence on that before it can go any further. We are interested in it and if we could get it to work it would be great, but it depends on things we don’t know about at the moment.”
He said the council would have a clearer idea of whether it could help buy the building by the end of March at the latest.
The Gladiator Sports and Social Club, including the club building and two flats, was put up for sale in September by owners The Gladiator Trust – a Christian foundation – as a development opportunity for £1.25m.
But the groups which use the club have since used the Localism Act to have it listed as an “asset of community value” which means it has been taken off the open market until May 5, to give the community a chance to buy it.
Chairman Brian Richards said the club would not be commenting further on the plans until the council had come back with a firm proposal.
He said: “There are a lot of things we are trying to get organised to raise funds but we have not got a whole plan together yet.”
Christine Burden, who runs Sweet Memories from the site, said: “It is of course good news that the council is interested but we don’t know exactly what is going to happen, so we will have to wait and see.”
Last month, The Gladiator Trust requested the council launch a review into the decision to list the East Oxford social club as an asset of community value but this was unsuccessful.
Once the deadline of May 5 passes, the building will go back on the open market.
The Gladiator Trust did not wish to comment.
- September 2013 – Club is put up for sale by the Gladiator Trust
- October 2013 – City council begins assessing whether the site is an Asset of Community Value
- December 2013 – City council confirms it is an Asset of Community Value. The trust challenges the decision.
- January 2014 – City council again confirms site is an Asset of Community Value and a community group confirms its interest in the site.
s May 2014 – The moratorium for the site ends.