Corrimal Leagues Club's new lease of life

Corrimal Leagues Club general manager Michelle Lipscombe. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR

Corrimal Leagues Club general manager Michelle Lipscombe. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR

Corrimal Leagues Club punters will have a place to eat, drink and socialise long into the future, thanks to Wests Illawarra which has purchased the ailing premises.

Wests officially settled on the Railway Street club last week, buying the property off a developer who had intended to bulldoze it to build apartments on the site.

The sale is good news for the club, which faced liquidation last year with debts to the tune of $1 million before Wests took over in August.

Since then, staff have returned the club to the black and plan to save more money now the sale of the premises has been finalised.

Wests Illawarra CEO Luke Walker said the purchase would add $100,000 to the club's bottom line annually and secure its future.

"It will enable us to develop the club to its full potential, including the surrounding land, rather than being restricted to a short or medium-term lease," he said.

"It's just nice to have that security, it means we can control our own destiny, and it's nice to see the club staying alive."

Mr Walker would not disclose the cost of the purchase, only stating lengthy negotiations had occurred to ensure the deal was agreeable to both parties.

Wests now has plans, subject to development approval, for a $1 million refurbishment for the club, including tidying its facade, improvements to the car-park and adding new furniture and fittings.

Long-term, Mr Walker said the club would be converted into a more modern facility.

"The reality is, it's a big, old club, so we would like something more purpose-built and mixed use but that's in the five to 10-year plan," he said.

"Because it's been in administration, it hasn't been looked after so our focus at the moment is making it more comfortable."

The club has just appointed Michelle Lipscombe as its new general manager and intends on continuing efforts to restore its connection with the area's community and sporting groups.

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