Uncertain future for one of Preston’s oldest clubs as premises put up for sale

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Staff at one of Preston’s oldest members clubs say they are unsure of their future after the premises were put up for sale.

The 55th Division in Church Street is now on the market for £175,000 with agents saying the property has “potential for a variety of uses.”

Like any other club we have been keeping our heads above water. But we are still open every day and as far as we are aware it’s business as usual.

But the club’s own Facebook page has posted a defiant message telling followers: “The club is not up for general sale. It is for administration reasons only that the sign is up. We are open as usual and will stay that way.”

Staff at the club, which was set up after the First World War to honour soldiers who fought in the Lancashire regiments which formed the 55th Division of the British Army, admit they are uncertain what is happening, despite talk of new buyers coming in.

One said: “We got told it is not up for general sale. But we don’t know any more. Something is going on, but we haven’t been told.

“There hasn’t been a committee here now for about 12 months. Like any other club we have been keeping our heads above water. But we are still open every day and as far as we are aware it’s business as usual.”

The Preston venue is the only remaining 55th Division club in the North West. A string of branches were set up across the region after the Great War by the newly-formed 55th Division Association. But the rest closed long ago. The first Preston club was in Lord Street and then moved to Chapel Walks where St George’s Shopping Centre now stands. It has been in Church Street since the sixties.