ONE of the town’s oldest institutions is set to close after nearly 150 years.

The Warrington Club – first founded in 1876 – will shut at the end of 2019 after 143 years operating in the town, the Warrington Guardian understands.

A meeting place for the business community and the town’s oldest networking club, the organisation was formed by Victorian industrialists as Warrington began to grow rapidly in the late 19th century.

Founder members included John Crosfield, Sir Gilbert Greenall, the Rylands brothers and benefactor Frederick Monks – who gifted the Golden Gates and the Oliver Cromwell statue to the town.

But, during an extraordinary general meeting called last month, members passed a resolution by 14 votes to three ‘to dissolve the Warrington Club on December 31 2019’.

The club’s home on Bold Street in the town centre, which was purpose-built using monies raised by the original 76 founder members, will also be ‘placed on the open market for sale immediately’.

Warrington Guardian:

Financial issues, dwindling membership numbers and potentially costly repair bills for the building are believed to be to blame.

Described on its website as ‘one of this historic town’s few remaining traditional establishments’, the Warrington Club’s hosts annual snooker and golf tournaments.

Its base also boasts a ‘traditional dining room’, snooker room and meeting room.

Club documents, seen by the Warrington Guardian, state: “A recruitment effort had been made for new members, and some had joined but had not continued – and this was therefore a difficult position, and unlikely to improve significantly.

“The existing offering is not sufficient to tempt new members to come in.”

The Warrington Guardian has approached the club for comment.