Express & Star

Bar and grill plan for former Cradley Heath Labour Club

A Labour club which closed suddenly after more than 90 years is set to be turned into a bar and grill.

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Cradley Heath Labour Club

The old Cradley Heath Labour Club has stood empty for almost two years but is now set to be transformed, in a move expected to create new jobs.

Plans have gone in to revive the building by converting the club into an eating and drinking venue and show a large seating area surrounding a bar.

The proposals for the Graingers Lane site would bring a boost for the area, which has lacked investment in recent years.

Following the club's sudden closure in August 2015, it was bought for £165,000 last year.

An application to change the use of the building, including alterations to the frontage and interior, has been lodged with Sandwell Council.

Cradley Heath councillor Julie Webb said the expected arrival of the bar and grill was exciting for the town.

She said: "It's good news. There is going to be a lot of investment in Cradley Heath with new housing and shops planned.

"I really do welcome investment in Cradley Heath and I hope they can make a go of it."

The Labour club was extremely popular during the 1980s and 1990s and would regularly draw in large crowds. Live bands and other entertainment would regularly feature.

But it went into a period of decline after the turn of the century and closed suddenly last August having been a fixture in the town for almost 100 years when the committee in charge revealed they could no longer afford to keep it running.

And Councillor Webb said: "It was the same as most Labour clubs these days, unfortunately they are becoming history.

"It is really good that it is going to be used again and a similar type of facility."

The club opened in 1922. Membership reached its peak in the 1960s though the venue remained popular into the 1990s. Several workers lost their jobs as a result of the closure.

The bar and grill plans will now be assessed by planning experts at Sandwell Council and are expected to go before the planning committee in the coming weeks.