Legion under threat of closure

PUBLISHED: 09:53 08 July 2010 | UPDATED: 10:04 08 July 2010

Chris Murphy, secretary of Royston Royal British Legion. The Legion's premises have deteriorated in condition.

Chris Murphy, secretary of Royston Royal British Legion. The Legion's premises have deteriorated in condition.

Daniel WIlson

£25,000 needed to replace floor

ROYSTON’S branch of the Royal British Legion could be without a building unless it can raise £20,000 to replace its rotting floor.

The branch headquarters in Mill Road needs major repairs to combat damp which is affecting the whole site, but the most pressing concern is the floor.

If the money cannot be raised, the building will have to close, leaving the branch homeless.

Chris Murphy, the branch’s chairman of trustees, said: “This is a very serious problem which threatens the future of the branch. As a charitable organisation, we rely on the income generated by people using the club for functions so that we can continue to help current and ex-servicemen and women.

“If we don’t have that money coming in, and we don’t have a base, there is no way the Legion can continue in Royston in its current form.”

Mr Murphy said the club discovered the problems when undertaking refurbishment of the building last year.

He said: “A structural engineer carried out an investigation which revealed the extent of the damage.

“The main building dates back to 1927, but other bits have been added over the years, and if anything this has exacerbated the problem.

“In total, the work we need to do is likely to cost up to £70,000, but once we’ve got the floor replaced we can do the rest in stages.”

The Legion has already been forced to reduce its capacity for events to 40 people, and this could be subject to further review unless the problems are resolved.

It is appealing for people to help by donating, money or materials, or by agreeing to lend a hand when the work takes place.

“The people of Royston have always been very supportive of us and our work,” said Mr Murphy. “We realise money is tight at the moment, but we’d be very grateful to anyone who can spare us some money or time.

“The Legion is one of the longest-running groups in Royston, and I don’t think anybody would want to lose it.”

Royston’s mayor Cllr Martin Beaver will be supporting the appeal by naming the branch as one of his two charities for the year.

Anyone who wishes to pledge support should call the branch office on 01763 244560.

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