Sheffield's Highcliffe Club closes after 90 years - but some members still hope for sudden investor

With a private membership rule, Highcliffe's roster only had room for 120 members at any one time. But when it came time to close, there were just 81.
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A popular Sheffield social club closed its doors for the final time last night - but some members still hope an investor will swoop in and save it as a community asset.

Highcliffe Club has been a local hub for the neighbourhood of Highcliffe Drive, Greystones, since it was first built in the 1930s, with its longest standing members having been on its books for decades. With a private membership rule, Highcliffe's roster only had room for 120 members at any one time.

Highcliffe Club's members voted 3 to 1 to close the club after 90 years, after which it will likely be sold and each member receives a share. But the 20 or so members who want is to stay have hope for a mystery investor. Highcliffe Club's members voted 3 to 1 to close the club after 90 years, after which it will likely be sold and each member receives a share. But the 20 or so members who want is to stay have hope for a mystery investor.
Highcliffe Club's members voted 3 to 1 to close the club after 90 years, after which it will likely be sold and each member receives a share. But the 20 or so members who want is to stay have hope for a mystery investor.
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But when it came time to close, there were only around 81. And in March, 60 of those members voted it was time to close. It locked its doors for the last time yesterday (March 31, 2024).

Reportedly, if the venue were sold - for example, to a developer for flats - then all members would receive an equal cut of the sales price.

Now, however, the 25 members who voted for Highcliffe to stay are hoping there is still time for an investor to swoop in and revitalise the club as a community asset. A petition they have launched to "save" the club has reportedly gathered 130 signatures, more than the maximum number of possible members.

Member Louise Cooper and her group of fellow supporters hopes an investor will see the Highcliffe Club's size and features and see an opportunity to keep the social club alive.Member Louise Cooper and her group of fellow supporters hopes an investor will see the Highcliffe Club's size and features and see an opportunity to keep the social club alive.
Member Louise Cooper and her group of fellow supporters hopes an investor will see the Highcliffe Club's size and features and see an opportunity to keep the social club alive.

One of those members, Louise Cooper, aged 69, who's been an on-and-off member since the 80s and a permanent sign-on since 2003, told The Star she would "hate to see it become a block of flats."

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Louise said: "It just needs a bit of TLC - the roof is a bit damaged and the loos need a revamp, just some bits and bobs.

"I think saving it and revitalising it and trying new ideas would bring a bit of life back into the road as a whole again. There's plenty of land at the back that could be sold off that we don't need.

"I would just rather see it come out as a community hub. I would hate to see it become a block of flats.

"If it's sold it I will get some money out of it but I won't be able to enjoy it because it's money that came from the club coming to an end. I could go to New York with it, I wouldn't enjoy it."

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The club is made of a main bar, a snooker room, a sitting area, two loos, a large wooden patio, and an expansive rear garden.

Louise remembers the club's heyday from the 80s and mid 2000s, and says even to the end it would hold weekly events like coffee mornings, darts competitions and 60s disco nights for decades. But on some evenings it would see no sales at all.

Louise says the situation it bares comparison to Crookes Social Club, which has been revitalised under the stewardship of Maurice Champeau. She hopes the club's ample space and existing bar might make it ideal to some investor who can take ownership before it is snapped up by developers.

She said: "I just feel people these days are missing out on social clubs and won't know they miss them until they all go."

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