Rileys snooker hall to be transformed into banqueting hall, shops and flats
THE owners of Bolton’s Spice Valley chain are behind plans to transform a disused snooker club into a banqueting hall, shops and flats.
Plans have been drawn up by a group of business people — including Subhash and Geeta Kotecha — to regenerate the empty Rileys snooker club in Blackburn Road, Astley Bridge.
The site could become home to a number of businesses, possibly including a smaller snooker hall and a banqueting facility, along with 12 “maisonette flats” in a new first and second floor extension.
Subhash Kotecha and his wife Geeta, who run the Spice Valley restaurants at The Valley and Horwich, are working with other business people on the plans.
They have submitted an outline planning application to Bolton Council and talks are ongoing about uses for the ground floor.
The snooker club closed in November, 2012, with the loss of six jobs.
It was one of 25 Rileys clubs that closed across the UK at the time as the recession hit the leisure industry.
Mr Kotecha said: “I’ve been involved with these plans with a few other people. The plan is to redevelop the whole site, which is huge but has become an eyesore. It saddens me to see that site.
“Blackburn Road is an important route into Bolton town centre and we’re trying to see how we can redevelop the whole place.
“The outline plan includes social housing above a number of business premises.
“We’ve been working with other business people and Bolton Council.
“I’ve been speaking to someone from Manchester to see what potential things could be done.
“Nothing concrete has been established yet but we’ve got a few ideas.” The closure came after the site was sold to an anonymous buyer in October, 2012 for £300,000. However, the snooker club continued trading until November.
It changed hands again earlier this month just before it was due to be auctioned by north west firm Pughs.
The site’s new owner has not been made public.
Cllr John Walsh, who represents Astley Bridge, said: “It’s a big unit which has had various uses over the years including a car showroom.
“A split-use would seem appropriate, perhaps including a snooker hall, banqueting facility and residential units.”
Keith Davies, director of development and regeneration at Bolton Council, said: “As some of this is still subject to a planning decision I can’t comment too much.
“However, a Lawful Development Certificate for a snooker hall, restaurant and retail on the ground floor has recently been issued.”
The current outline planning application will be presented to the council’s planning committee on Thursday. It is recommended that planning permission is granted.
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