Investor’s pledge to reopen Huntingdon BRJ Club
AN investor trying to save Huntingdon’s debt-ridden BRJ Club has made a heartfelt pledge to keep it open.
AN investor has pledged to revamp Huntingdon’s debt-ridden BRJ Club which has been closed for nearly a month since it was branded a fire hazard by safety chiefs.
Charlie Davis, owner of Charlie’s Angels Health Solutions Limited got involved in the long-running sports and social organisation in October 2009 when founder Charlie Jacques was looking for someone to take on the club’s �400,000 debts.
He has a series of maps and building plans showing how he will renovate the Sallowbush Road premises into an eco-building and return it to the success it enjoyed in the 1970s and 1980s.
He says he plans to turn the site into “one of the most modern sports centres in England” with gyms and saunas.
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“This is the biggest challenge I’ve ever had in my life,” Mr Davis said. “There has been so much stress.”
But the club is currently shut after it was served with a Fire Safety Order on October 12. A letter from chief fire officer Graham Stagg says the closure was enforced following a fire audit of the premises.
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Mr Davis admits that the building needs renovation work and has had architect’s plans drawn up to outline the best way forward.
The BRJ Club was founded in 1972 when Maurice Bastini and Tony Rigby teamed up with Mr Jacques to create a social organisation.
Two years later the group opened a venue and borrowed �53,000 from Charrington’s Brewery to get it started.
In recent years, the voluntary committee has struggled to find the funds to pay back loans and debts including a mortgage.
Speaking to The Hunts Post, Mr Jacques said he was hopeful the venue could be re-established at some point in the future but seemed to suggest it was consigned to the past. “It’s very sad to see it go. People did their best to save it but unfortunately it never had the support of the younger generation.”