PEOPLE have expressed their disappointment at plans to sell the Horwich RMI clubhouse.

The club's committee revealed last month that it was going to put the building in Ramsbottom Road up for sale and build a new venue on the bowling green.

The decision was made following years of financial struggles for the club and a lack of demand for its function rooms.

But, despite acknowledging the financial realities, mayor of Horwich Cllr Steve Rock said he would be disappointed to see the 50-year-old building go.

He said: "I am a bit disappointed with it because it has always been one of the centres of Horwich next to the Loco Works.

"It is part of the fabric of the town and it is a shame it will be sold. I can not see the new one being very big."

There are also worries that the new building would not help the committee turn around the club's fortunes.

One person with experience of using the club, who did not wish to be named, said: "Local residents are concerned that a new club will still not be financially viable.

"The substantial losses cannot be put down to just the energy costs of running a large building.

"The main suite brings in a large percentage of the current income. Plans to replace the main suite with a smaller one will only decrease the clubs turnover.

"Reducing facilities on the bowling green will only provide a negative effect on the RMI club. This is also the case for current residents of Rockhaven court, who currently use the RMI club.

"A new club is only holding off the inevitable. The RMI will close for good once this money runs out."

Revealing the plans, a spokesman from Horwich RMI said the old building had become financially unviable.

He said: “We have come to a realisation after 50 years that this club is not fit for purpose.

“The whole culture of clubs has changed. One thing that hasn’t is the ever-increasing overheads.

“The overheads are going to put us out of business. Before it puts us out of business, the committee looked at what alternative we could do.

“Because we have extensive lands, we decided to utilise the piece of land, which is at the bowling green side.

“We want to build a new club for the next 40 to 50 years.”