Villagers hope site of fire-ravaged Barrowby British Legion clubhouse will become community centre

The Barrowby Royal British Legion clubhouse was destroyed by fire in October 2011.
The Barrowby Royal British Legion clubhouse was destroyed by fire in October 2011.
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Exciting plans could be on the horizon for the site of a former Royal British Legion (RBL) clubhouse devastated by fire.

The RBL club in Barrowby was gutted in an arson attack back in October 2011, and has since stood boarded up and disused.

The Barrowby Royal British Legion clubhouse was destroyed by fire in October 2011.

The Barrowby Royal British Legion clubhouse was destroyed by fire in October 2011.

Now, the village wants to buy the land and build a community centre.

It comes as the RBL head office plans to clear the site, having submitted a planning application to the local authority for permission to demolish the building.

Then, if the sale price is affordable, the village wants to buy it to create a facility for use by the whole community.

Stephen Carter, treasurer of the Barrowby branch of the RBL, which now meets monthly in the village’s Reading Room, said: “We are committed to do what we can for the British Legion, but the people of Barrowby have requested that the site, if it can be afforded, be purchased as a community centre.”

The Barrowby Royal British Legion clubhouse was destroyed by fire in October 2011.

The Barrowby Royal British Legion clubhouse was destroyed by fire in October 2011.

He added: “At the moment, we’re up against the British Legion because they just want to sell the site. We’ve got a meeting shortly to discuss it with them.”

Mr Carter added that the branch committee is meeting with the parish council to talk through the community centre concept and grant funding avenues.

If the bid is not successful, the land could be purchased for housing or commercial use.

If given the green light by South Kesteven District Council, the clubhouse could be demolished within weeks.

Five fire crews tried in vain to save the clubhouse when it went up in flames on a Sunday night in 2011. Around 80 per cent of the building was destroyed by fire and the remainder severely smoke and heat damaged.

It was the third fire at the clubhouse within weeks. The arsonists responsible were never found.