City preparing bid for Gladiator Club

The Oxford Times: Jane Casey outside the Gladiator Club Jane Casey outside the Gladiator Club

A BID to buy an East Oxford social club could be made as early as this week.

Oxford City Council has been looking into how it can help buy the Gladiator Club in Iffley Road after it was put on the market last year.

City council leader Bob Price revealed officers are in discussions with another unnamed organisation over a joint bid.

He said: “We have been talking to people who are interested in sharing ownership with us and we have been talking about how it can stack up in a way which makes sense.

“We are waiting to get to the final part of that process and we have had a certain amount of discussion with the estate agent.

“Unless something strange happens a bid will probably be submitted this week.”

Mr Price said he could not reveal the name of the organisation the council is talking to.

The Gladiator Club was first opened in 1946 by the Society of St John the Evangelist, known as “the Cowley Fathers”.

It is now owned by the Gladiator Trust which put the site – consisting of the main building and two flats – on the market for £1.25m last year.

Since then the building has been designated as a community asset, which meant the sale had to be suspended for six months in December.

Jane Casey, secretary of the Gladiator Club, said: “It is a lovely, friendly club and it would be a shame for it to close.

“We are hoping that the council will be able to buy it.

“We have got so many groups that use the club such as an art group, table tennis, ladies’ darts and men’s darts.

“We try to make it part of the community.”

The Oxford Mail contacted the Gladiator Trust for comment but it did not respond.

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