Date Published: 10th October 2013
Hopes have been expressed that a historic Bexhill-on-Sea sports club will continue to remain a community asset, ahead of the site going up for sale.
The ground of Sidley Sports and Social Club, which had been home to Sidley United Football Club and Sidley Cricket Club for decades, is to be sold after it ran into financial difficulties earlier this year.
National Insolvency and business recovery specialists Begbies Traynor have been appointed to wind up the club and estate agents Stiles Harold Williams are to handle the sale of the ground.
The private members’ club, which ceased trading in April this year, boasts football and cricket pitches, a pavilion, stores and workshop amongst other buildings.
Known locally as Gulliver’s Sports Ground, offers are to be sought by Stiles Harold Williams for the Glovers Lane site.
The sports and social club is an unincorporated association, and therefore does not fall within the definition of a company for the purposes of a company voluntary arrangement, administration or liquidation.
The winding up of the club is being handled by Jon Beard, of Begbies Traynor’s Brighton office. He has been appointed liquidator by Court Order following an application to the High Court of Justice by nominated members.
Recognising that the site is seen as a community asset, Mr Beard is listening to local concerns and hopes a buyer can be found who will retain a significant portion of the ground for sports and community use.
Mr Beard said: “We fully understand the sensitivities around Sidley Sports and Social Club so are working hard to find a solution that is acceptable to the community, whilst endeavouring to ensure the debts owed by the club are recovered.”
He added: “Given the ground’s important place in the local community, we’re very hopeful that a buyer can be found who will revive the site for sports and leisure use.”
The total buildings area, including pavilion, stands and stores, amounts to 6,193 sq ft. The 4.9-acre site was named Gulliver’s Sports Ground after the local farmer who sold the land in the late 1940s to the then Sidley Cricket and Football Club for £1,000.
In its heyday, the club was the first local team to host the full Sussex County team for testimonial matches, which were played in honour of England and Sussex cricket legends John and James Langridge, Jim Parks and George Cox amongst others.
The site has been disused since April and Mr Beard is hopeful that a speedy sale can be achieved in order to restore the club back to its former use in the community.
Interested parties should contact Peter Coldbreath of Stiles Harold Williams on 01273 876 225.
Jon joined Begbies Traynor in London in 1997 and moved to the Brighton office as a Director in November 2008.
He has 15 years experience working on all types of formal corporate and personal insolvency procedures, in particular, small to mid-market corporate, some of which being multi-jurisdictional, with a focus on administrations/receiverships and trading appointments. He is a Licensed Insolvency Practitioner and a fellow of R3.