A CLUB lauded as one of the last places for working people to get together will now be open until 1am on weekends.

Westhoughton Sports and Social Club was called a “social service in Westhoughton” by the club’s secretary and Crompton councillor, Guy Harkin.

The club’s leadership originally launched an application to extend the opening times of the club to 2am on weekends, from its current midnight closing time. The application also sought to serve alcohol and play music during the extended hours.

The request was granted yesterday on the promise that the club would close at 1am Friday to Saturday, after a licensing committee meeting heard arguments both for and against the application.

The club “has been in its current location for over 100 years”, said Cllr Harkin, making the case to the committee.

Cllr Harking said: “As a result of other facilities in Westhoughton closing down, we are virtually the last resort for working people who want a funeral, a birthday party, a retirement party. We don’t charge. We are virtually a social service in Westhoughton.

“If you have lots of money, you can go to the masonic hall. If you don’t have any money, you can come to the Westhoughton Social Club.”

One objector to the application, Neil Smith, said the extended hours could impact the “quality of life” as a result of the serving of alcohol and possible noise into the early hours.

He said: “It could have a serious effect on my family.”

In response, Cllr Harkin said: “It’s predominantly a bowling club, we don’t have a lot of loud, raucous activity.”

The club’s leadership added that they were seeking a licence to cover all activities in the future, instead of applying for temporary licences, and residents would be unlikely to see changes from regular running.