The closure of a long-established social club has been described as "disgusting" after betrothed couples were left in the lurch without a wedding venue.

Brides-to-be are now scrambling to find an alternative reception venue after JCB announced it would close its Lakeside Club on January 1.

The popular club, which neighbours the Rocester World HQ, has hosted events including fitness classes, presentation nights, weddings and parties for 46 years.

One of the events held at the club down the years has been Uttoxeter's Got Talent. Pictured is Evie Degg performing
One of the events held at the club down the years has been Uttoxeter's Got Talent. Pictured is Evie Degg performing

Readers reacted angrily to the news, claiming those with events booked had found out through media reports rather than being told in person.

Chairman Mick Smith said he did "not want to comment at this stage", but confirmed bookings from next year onwards could not be honoured.

He will issue a statement about the decision to shut the club, which employs 13 people, in "the next few days".

Officials at JCB, which lets Mr Smith and his team run the club rent-free, said use of the facility had declined in recent years. The building will be employed for "different business purposes" when the venue closes, a company spokesman said.

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He said: "The JCB Lakeside Club first opened more than 45 years ago, when times were very different. Fewer people choose to spend their leisure time in social clubs nowadays, so after careful consideration, we have taken the difficult decision to close the Station Road premises at the end of the year."

Readers took to social media to vent their frustration at the situation.

Stacey Halliwell said: "Yet JCB haven't had the decency to tell the people that have booked it for their wedding venue. Disgusting. My thoughts are with the lovely people that run and work at the club."

Angie Ashby said: "They could have had the decency to let people no that had booked there club for weddings."

Steve Aldridge said: "A very sad end to JCB Club. The people that booked for weddings next year should be compensated by JCB."

Charlie Ashby said: "There goes my 50th! Sorry for the lovely people that run it."

Charlotte Louise said: "Nice of them to let people know who have booked weddings and already paid deposits."

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JCB announced its decision at the same time as a £75,000 investment in the lakeside sports facilities. The company offers turf and all-weather football pitches, changing rooms and a bowling green.

A JCB spokesman said: "Health and fitness have become more important in people's lives in recent years, so the JCB Lakeside Club's sports facilities are being used a lot more by employees and local sports clubs.

"Upgrading the pitches and changing facilities will give users an even better experience and hopefully encourage even more people to use them."

The JCB Lakeside Club was founded in 1971 and has operated from the Station Road premises since 1982.

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