A FORMER Labour club in Cradley has sold for £300k and looks set to be converted into a sports bar and restaurant.

Cradley Labour Club, also known as Wilson Hall in Colley Gate, was officially sold to Shireland Inn Ltd on December 14 last year.

The huge building closed in December 2021 after damage due to flooding and the covid pandemic meant it could not survive as a viable business.

Cradley councillor Tim Crumpton, who was asked by club members to deal with the sale, said: "The new owners bought the club for £300k, which was less than the original offer but still at market value.

"The lowering of the offer was due to the disgraceful ‘looting and vandalism’ which had taken place with all copper pipes and cables being stolen and toilet and kitchen areas being smashed up.”

Halesowen News: The Shireland bar and grill in Smethwick The Shireland bar and grill in Smethwick (Image: Google)

Cllr Crumpton said the firm approached him a year ago with a plan to convert the pub into a sports bar and restaurant.

He said: "They have a track record with a number of these in the West Midlands area so I was able to recommend them to the members who welcomed the idea."

Cllr Crumpton said he is now sorting out the "various debts of the club which is complex and taking a lot more time than I had hoped."

Once the debts, including a £26,495 award for unfair dismissal by former employee Stephen Smith, have been paid, the remainder will be shared amongst members, in the next few weeks.

There are more than 100 members. 

Cllr Crumpton said: "I want to make it clear again that I have no financial interests and will receive no money from this sale, I did it to help the local people involved."

The sale brings the end of an era.

Halesowen News:

The Labour club was officially opened by Home Secretary James Callaghan on June 29th, 1968. He stood in for Prime Minster Harold Wilson who was on official duties at that time.

Harold Wilson made a private visit to the club some weeks later for a pint with the locals.

Halesowen News: It's a large site It's a large site (Image: Google)

Cllr Crumpton said: “Wilson Hall has for the past 55 years been a huge attraction for local people.

"Large numbers of well-known artists have played there.

"Boxing competitions drew huge crowds and for many locals the Friday night bingo with their friends was a real treat.

"The huge hall has given many happy moments for so many it is sad that the club had to close despite huge efforts from the small number of members who fought to keep it going.

"So many clubs and pubs have closed in recent years; Covid was the final nail in the coffin although huge business rates and the massive increase in electricity costs make such venues unviable. "

The original offer for the site was £350k.