A MILFORD HAVEN businessman says that he felt it was his ‘duty’ to do something with an abandoned building, which he says has been deteriorating for decades.
Thomas Sinclair, the editor of The Pembrokeshire Herald, and long-time resident of Hamilton Terrace, says he now has taken on the responsibility of putting the near-by Grade II listed building back into use for the benefit of the community, after being left to fall into a dilapidated state for nearly quarter of a century.
Work has already started on the former Milford Haven Working Men’s Club by way of repairing windows and the roof, as well as tidying up the outside of the building.
Speaking confidently about his ambitious plans for the property, Mr Sinclair said: “The plan is to re-open the club but this time into a dual use role. We would like to open the club for both the original and new members of the club, but also provide a new and modern facility for visiting seafarers to the town following the closure of their centre in Robert Street.
“I am already in discussions with the organisation looking to re-open a seafarer’s centre in the town and there is a clear expression of interest for a nominal rent. In addition, many of the former members seem quite excited about the club re-opening, some saying they were not happy about the way that it was closed in the first place.”
He added: “The property, situated on Victoria Road, was no longer financially viable by the 1990s and closed much to the frustration and protest of the former members I am told. After the club was disbanded the building did not have a legal owner so could not be sold.
“Due to this it has fallen into disrepair. The theft of the lead off the roof, probably some twenty years ago, has caused severe damage to the building. The estimated repair bill to replace rotten joists, floors and roof beams, as well as other works, is estimated to be over £150,000.”
It is hoped that the new facility will be open for community use one year from now.