Chorlton Irish CLub
Colliers was appointed to sell the site last year

Chorlton Irish club put up for sale

Dan Whelan

Colliers is marketing the two-storey building off High Lane and Cross Road as a “prime redevelopment opportunity” despite a long-running campaign from Friends of Chorlton Irish Club to save it.

The owners, a group of four trustees, stepped in to take over the day to day running of the club in April 2019 after the management committee at the time expressed a desire put the club up for sale.

Around the same time Friends of Chorlton Irish Club, a members group, successfully applied to Manchester Council for the club to become an asset of community value in the hope of halting any potential sale. 

The four trustees took control of the club, apparently adopting a debt of around £140,000, in a move which was welcomed by members at the time. 

Under the stewardship of the trustees, the club, which was founded in 1956, saw a spike in membership but last summer communication between the trustees and members stalled. 

Friends of Chorlton Irish Club said it has sought unsuccessfully to engage in dialogue with the club’s trustees since June last year. An open letter to the trustees sent in December called for more transparency and clarity on the club’s financial situation.

Towards the end of 2019 it became clear that the trustees were looking to sell the premises after the members were made aware of what appeared to be a leaked sales poster advertising the sale of the club. 

At the time a spokesperson for Colliers said the document was a mock-up of what a sales brochure might look like. They explained that the agent had been approached by one of the club’s trustees about selling the building.  

Chorlton Irish Club Facebook Post

A Facebook message posted by the members group in response to the news

A spokesperson for Friends of Chorlton Irish Club said that the timing of the announcement was “shocking” because, due to current social distancing advice, members are unable to meet to discuss their next course of action. 

The spokesperson said that the legal obligation of the trustees toward the members is unclear because an important land registry document which details that relationship has been lost. 

“Regardless of the legal position, from a moral standpoint to sell the club without reference to the members is shocking, especially in this current climate.” 

He added: “There are a lot of members out there that these four trustees are supposed to be taking decisions on behalf of and this has all happened without any consultation with the members whatsoever. 

Tom Lathwood, surveyor, residential, city and suburban development at Colliers International, said: “Located at the heart of one of south Manchester’s most prosperous and vibrant communities, Chorlton Irish Club represents a prime redevelopment opportunity. 

“Despite these unique and difficult times, we expect a strong level of interest from a wide range of potential buyers.” 

Your Comments

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Sneaky. One thing people from Chorlton are excellent at is campaigning. This will be a poisoned challice in planning terms.

By Acelius

I do wonder how they can knowingly write things like “amazing redevelopment opportunity” for something that has been listed as a community asset. Talk about rubbing peoples faces in it!

By lovemcr

I am shocked by the behaviour of the trustees. It is imperative that they provide information to the membership about the current financial position and whether the capital arising from the sale will be ploughed back into the needs of the local community.

By Yvonne Bremer

The actions of the 4 ‘trustees’ is against the wishes of all the members and local community. At a time when communities are looking to help each other, this asset has been appropriated for financial gain. Everyone involved should be ashamed. Manchester City council need to investigate this

By J McLaughlin

This is totally wrong thes trustees caused this fiasco by abandoning
the club as they did not know what is was meant by being a trustees
and left in the hands of sharks Let the members get together and
challenge this The constition clearly states it belongs to the members

By Mike Kelly

Let’s but it then and crowd fund

By Andrew binnie

Incredibly annoyed to hear this, typical though, money money money again over community assets. When will we learn, once we have nothing left? then those idiots will complain there is nothing for us to do. Sleep walking into a bland and boring world. This space must be saved.

By Dan

So who will the money be paid to or will it be paid to member s as it there club?

By Martin smith

Give the Chinese a ring.

By BrIan Collier

These four trustees are stewards not owners of the Club. The Constitution of the Club must surely indicate where the proceeds from the sale of the property must be directed to in the event of the dissolution of the Club, which is often to a specific charity or to the enjoyment of the local community as a recreation facility.
It will be a sad day for the Irish Community of Chorlton should four individuals profit greatly from the commitment displayed by many generations of Irish emigrants and their descendants .
John Cleary, Vancouver.

By Anonymous

If the Chorlton community supports it how come it’s in financial difficulties. It is Irish club first for the Irish community that lived in Manchester. If you want to community place why don’t you go and check who owns the Conservative Club.

By T Dooley

Let’s get in touch with Colliers and put a stop to the sale until
the members ar notified The trustees have no monetary interest In the
club no more than other member Their job was to hold the interests of
the club but abandoned their responsibilities year ago I’ve been a member for excess of 50 years and hold a genuine up to date membership card in

By Mike Kelly

No need for a face to face meeting Just elect 3or 4 members to
deal with this fiasco if the trustees who were trustees in name only
and ignored the members totally do not even deserve the name and
certainly should have put themselves forward in the first place must
have been a great honour

By Mike Kelly

I joined and paid with good faith believing that efforts were being made to keep the Irish Club afloat. Very disappointed.

By Faye Macrory

I grew up in chorlton cum hardy as part of the Irish community. My mum was a member in its hay day. We’ve had parties , wakes here for family members.No doubt it will be demolished & more ugly over the top priced accomadation build. Hopefully this will not go ahead

By Bernadette Claydon

It is a cracking development site tho.

By Anonymous

Actually, T Dooley makes an interesting point. If you look into the history of Charlton I believe that the con club was left to all the people of chorlton in perpetuity.
That said the behaviour of these trustees trying to carpet bag the property for themselves while the Corona crisis is on is below dispiscable. Arrange an online AGM and strip them of their posts. And remember heritage, it is Chorlton Irish club first and foremost.

By B.Lattin

I have now spoken to the solicitor who has been engaged in the sale
of the club and it appears they had their names interned on the land
registery in recent months claiming ownership of the club they have
not been involved in club and it was they abandoned the club and left
In the hands of less than honest people and are now riding rough shod
over the members Get together and figh this sham

By Mike kellym

Shame ,shame,shame ,shame, i feel an investigation is whats needed here,this is nothing but disgraceful,save our club.

By Mrs vincent

Perhaps time for a “fighting fund” and solicitor’s involvement, if enough members feel that is the way to go?
On what terms did the four Trustees take on the £140,000 debt? Are there covenants on the property to restrict development? How is the club constituted? The answers may help to clarify whether the Trustees can sell without member’s agreement. Realistically, one would think that they would have covered their backs – you never know!

By Jeff Yates

The overall debts of the club are in the region of £700,000 to £800,000 I believe. The Trustees have no option but to sell the premises as interest on loans remain unpaid and continue to grow in arrears.

By bill rossiter

Members will be aware that they are responsible for these debts. So if 700 members come up with £100,000 each this problem might be resolved quickly. If you do not see that as an option then let the Trustees get on with it and solve this problem for you.. Give them a break. OK ?

By bill rossiter

Simple solution for the poor trustees. Talk to the members, let them decide the fate of their club.
Oh, and provide some evidence for the alleged £700k debts please.

By Ray Boyle

In Chorlton since 1983 we’ve lost the Oaks pub, the Mersey lights pub, Adam & Eves club, the Feathers pub, The Southern closed, Hough end Hall, Its time to save last land mark frm 1950’s. Save I.A.C friends of Chorlton club.

By Jarlath knight

My father, John Gabriel Hopkins, one of the founding members, will turning in his grave at this news. Keep up the fight!

By Brian Hopkins