67 year history of naval club

The president of Eastbourne’s Royal Naval Club has defended the decision to close the club for good.

The club came in for some criticism after people with close links to the club questioned committee members motives in decided to close.

But they have since released its estimated financial position which shows that a steady decline in income meant the club was quickly becoming unsustainable.

The letter, which was sent to members by president Brian Allchorn, showed that the club had funds of £101,000 at the start of the financial year in April 2012.

It had shrunk to £59,000 in the two years since – outlining a loss of £1,750 a month.

Losses were predicted at a further £15,750 for the remainder of the year, meaning the club would be left with just £43,250 come January 2015.

With losses expected to reach £2,000 a month it was decided, following a meeting in June, that the club would close on September 30.

Claire Brown, whose son was a member at the club, questioned what would be done with the remaining funds.

But Mr Allchorn insists any remaining money will be for redundancies and legal fees. Redundancies are expected to cost between £17,000 and £18,000, while other financial commitments include landlord, solicitor and legal fees.

While Mr Allchorn understands people’s frustration at the closure, he says it had become inevitable.

“Your chairman has repeatedly warned of these impending problems with his use it or lose it message given at each annual AGM,” he said in his letter.

“Sadly this has largely been ignored and now we have to face the consequences.

“Various money-saving schemes have bene given due consideration but none of them would solve the problem.”