Restaurant future for Burnley's oldest social club?

The former Fulledge Conservative Club
The former Fulledge Conservative Club

A historic Burnley social club – which closed a year ago – could be converted into a restaurant.

One of Burnley’s most prominent and oldest social clubs, Fulledge Conservative Club was forced to close its doors for the final time last year due to dwindling membership.

The club in Plumbe Street first opened around 140 years ago, but is now the subject of an application from Mr Mohammad Rafi Khan.

If passed, the restaurant would be open six days a week from 5pm to 11pm, and closed on Mondays.

Burnley Council leader Coun. Mark Townsend welcomed the application and said it could help to regenerate the area.

He said: “It is a shame that the original Fulledge club had to close, but sadly a number of traditional working men’s clubs are suffering the same problems with regards to falling memberships.

“The era of working men’s clubs seems to be disappearing so we have to adapt to the future.

“I am pleased that someone is wanting to bring it back into use as a restaurant. This could promote an area that has struggled in the recent past.

“Hopefully this will be a successful venture, on the edge of the town centre, and attract more businesses to the area.”

The consultation period for the application ends on October 5th.

The Burnley Express last year spoke to the final chairman of Fulledge Conservative Club, Mr Paul Coates, whose association with the club went back 50 years.

He revealed how membership had dropped from around 400 people a decade ago to just 50 last year.

Mr Coates also said he believed the introduction of the 24 hour licensing laws has changed Burnley’s drinking culture and had had a negative impact on traditional working men’s clubs.