THE committee responsible for running a popular sports and social club which is under the threat of closure is to put forward a make-or-break buyout scheme to members.

After growing frustrated at the lack of communication offered by administrators over potential buyers, members of the Pegasus club on Herd Lane, Corringham, will be asked at a meeting in two weeks to take things into their own hands by contributing to a buy out scheme.

The future of the club has been uncertain since the closure of Coryton oil refinery last June.

Before Christmas, it was revealed that a “substantial” bid by Thames Oilport, the consortium who purchased Coryton oil refinery in September after Petroplus went bust at the beginning of 2012, to buy the club and put it into trust was turned down by Pricewaterhouse Cooper.

The club has still not been put up for sale, leading the executive committee to think that PwC want the club vacated so the land can be sold for more money.

In November a council document indicated that a change to green belt status, which currently prevents development on the Pegasus club land, would be put to consultation this month.

Paul Cairns, on behalf on the Pegasus club executive committee said: “An Oilport consortium bid had been rejected by PwC and as they will not put the club up for sale, we have decided to go for a members buy out scheme as this seems to be our last option.

“We will be looking for help from outside investors and local business and substantial interest has already been shown to this end.

“It will be a difficult task and we are looking at a long term plan to ensure the future of the club which will then be put in trust for the use of the local community for many years to come.
“We would like to think the council and PwC would back us were we able to do this.”

The Pegasus club’s membership numbers have dropped considerably since the closure of the refinery. There are currently 1300 full members, down from 2,000, and 3500 associate members. It boasts superb football and rugby pitches as well as fishing lakes, tennis courts and a bowls green.