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'It's a hidden gem' - Transformed leisure venue will bring new going-out option to town centre

PUBLISHED: 12:39 04 September 2019 | UPDATED: 12:39 04 September 2019

Bradley Fish at the former Conservative Club in Great Yarmouth. He is in the process of transforming it into a sports and social hub making use of the sprung dance floor and space for karaoke party rooms serving street food and specialist gins Picture: Archant

Bradley Fish at the former Conservative Club in Great Yarmouth. He is in the process of transforming it into a sports and social hub making use of the sprung dance floor and space for karaoke party rooms serving street food and specialist gins Picture: Archant

Archant

The refurbishment of a former members-only club will bring public access to a host of activities and a new going-out option in Great Yarmouth's urban heart.

The large, sprung dance floor which Bradley Fish says is the 'jewel in the crown' of his new sports and leisure hub Picture: ArchantThe large, sprung dance floor which Bradley Fish says is the 'jewel in the crown' of his new sports and leisure hub Picture: Archant

Bradley Fish is transforming the former Conservative Club in Great Yarmouth's Market Gates with a "significant" investment and re-branding that will bring the "hidden gem" venue back to life.

The 43-year-old, of Carrel Road, Gorleston, said the vast site was ripe for reinvention helping those "pushed out" of the current night-time offer to socialise.

Comprising some 10,000sq ft including six full-sized snooker tables and a large fully-sprung dance floor he is set to host a range of functions, music nights, pool, and darts.

He said camaraderie and community were the watchwords for the new era of entertainment that his research showed was very much wanted.

A high-end snooker offer is an important element of a new sports and leisure hub at the former Conservative Club in Market Gates which Bradley Fish hopes will have broad appeal Picture: ArchantA high-end snooker offer is an important element of a new sports and leisure hub at the former Conservative Club in Market Gates which Bradley Fish hopes will have broad appeal Picture: Archant

Father-of-two Mr Fish said he had already had huge interest from sporting leagues, proving the case for refurbishment.

Also in the pipeline are short-mat bowls, a "gin-sing" karaoke party room with glitter balls, and digital golf experience.

He described the venue as a "hidden-gem" which had been "cocooned" from the public since it opened in 1976.

A keen snooker player since the age of 12 he said there was huge demand for quality tables which were all being re-covered.

Flashback: Great Yarmouth Conservative Club, top floor of the Market Gates shopping centre.

Picture: James BassFlashback: Great Yarmouth Conservative Club, top floor of the Market Gates shopping centre. Picture: James Bass

Having worked as an IT trainer for the NHS across the country for a decade he said he was on the lookout for an opportunity which meant he could spend more time at home with his young family.

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He said his vision, although ambitious, would give public access to a spacious and versatile space in the centre of town close to bus routes and taxi ranks.

"Now this opportunity has come it just seems so natural," he said. "It is spacious and versatile and in the town centre, and completely under-used."

Flashback: Great Yarmouth Conservative Club, top floor of the Market Gates shopping centre.

Picture: James BassFlashback: Great Yarmouth Conservative Club, top floor of the Market Gates shopping centre. Picture: James Bass

Access is via a lift inside Market Gates during the day and from outside the building after the shopping centre closes.

In a nod to nostalgia the venue is being called The Jube after the Jubilee Snooker Club which once stood in Regent Road.

"This is a very exciting time for us and its definitely the beginning of a whole new era for the premises," he said.

"The support to make this happen has been overwhelming and every conversation just encourages our progress."

Flashback: Great Yarmouth Conservative Club, top floor of the Market Gates shopping centre.

Picture: James BassFlashback: Great Yarmouth Conservative Club, top floor of the Market Gates shopping centre. Picture: James Bass

"Over the years, I've heard countless stories about the former Jubilee Snooker Club.

"The recurring message from all the stories I've heard is that 'The Jube' was a great venue at which to socialise, where fun, good spirit and camaraderie were always in abundance.

"That's exactly the type of culture, spirit and atmosphere that we intend to offer."

Clubs, teams, or dance groups interested in using the venue can contact Mr Fish at info@destinyshapers.co.uk.

The venue will open daily from Monday, September 30.

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