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Club's revamp gets a vote of approval
A CONSERVATIVE club in the centre of Oxford has undergone the biggest revamp in its history.
The Oxford Central Conservative Club, which has been on the site since the early 20th century, has spent more than £300,000 redeveloping its New Road home.
As part of the work, the clubhouse was gutted and builders started from scratch, putting in new electrics, heating and air conditioning.
The club has also been given two new bars and new toilets.
Secretary Anthony Burden, who lives in Hearns Close, said: “It is lovely. I think all the members will tell you that.
“We have had almost everything in the club done up. “In fact there is very little I can think of which we haven’t done.
“The back half of the club had not been done since the 1950s so this was probably its biggest refurbishment ever.
“At one stage the club’s finances were pretty bad, but we have managed to sort that out now.”
The work took three months, and was completed by the end of February. An opening evening to show off the new facilities will be held on Saturday, March 23.
To finance the refurbishment of the building, the club had to sell the site freehold to a property company called Trafalgar Estates.
This allowed them to pay off their debts, revamp the building and put something aside for the future. The club has now signed a 25-year lease for the building.
While the club was looking for a buyer it was supported by the National Association of Conservative Clubs.
Founded in 1891, the Oxford Central Conservative Club’s first headquarters were in Queen Street but it moved to its present location in the early 1900s.
Mr Burden said becoming one of the 300-odd members of the club does not necessarily mean you have to be a member of the Conservative Party.
He said: “We believe these clubs are such an essential service.
“If someone loses their husband or their wife they can still come here and socialise. During the winter months when the walls close in, they can come out of their houses and I think that is very important.”
Trafalgar Estates was unavailable for comment last night.