Kurri Workers Club closes its doors

CLOSED: Kurri Workers Club ceased trading on June 14.

CLOSED: Kurri Workers Club ceased trading on June 14.

A six-decade chapter of Kurri Kurri’s history has ended with the closure of the town’s workers club.

The Lang Street club – which opened for business in July 1955 – ceased trading last Wednesday, after two months under administration.

The club amalgamated with Cessnock Ex-Services Club about 10 years ago. Both clubs were placed into administration in April this year.

While some staff worked at both venues, seven staff will be out of jobs.

The clubs operated on a dual membership model, with 3300 members.

Administrator Greg Russell said while it was a difficult decision to close the Kurri club, it was no longer feasible for it to remain open.

“The Kurri venue, while important to the community, needs too much money spent on it to be viable,” he said.

“I don’t like closing venues, but we had no choice.

“People only had to read the annual report to know that the club was in trouble.”

Mr Russell said the clubs have been trying to address their financial issues for at least two years, and unsuccessfully tried to de-amalgamate in 2015.

Kurri Workers Club reduced its opening hours in October 2016, and did not hold its traditional Anzac Day breakfast this year.

That event was held at Kurri Kurri Bowling Club, where the Kurri RSL Sub-branch relocated its memorabilia and meetings in December.

Russell Corporate Advisory was appointed as the administrator on April 11 this year.

Mr Russell said the administrators assessed the clubs’ financial position and sought expressions of interest from other venues to amalgamate with the clubs.

He said they received two responses, but neither were interested in taking on the workers club.

He said they are still talking to one of these clubs about merging with ex-services club, but there are a range of options being assessed to keep the Cessnock club operational.

“My current opinion is that Cessnock (Ex-Services Club) will continue, in an amalgamated form or in its own right,” he said.

Mr Russell said creditors have approved a deed of company arrangement that will see them paid in full.

He said they are in talks with a number of parties about the sale of the Kurri Workers Club site.

All club property and assets, including gaming entitlements, will be sold.

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