The chairman of a well-loved social club insists it is still "very much open for business" - despite the "upsetting" announcement of its impending closure.

It was reported last week JCB Lakeside Club would close on January 1 after 46 years of service.

Some readers described the digger giant's decision to close the area's main social hub as "disgusting" after it emerged next year's bookings - including weddings - would not be honoured.

And a host of sports clubs, including Uttoxeter Sunday League teams JCB Lakeside and Uttoxeter Dominoes JCB , are based at the club.

But chairman Mick Smith and his team hosted a meeting on Monday night, September 18, at which all the teams' representatives spoke of their desire to continue.

Mr Smith said: "They all came along to represent the two junior football teams, two senior football teams, netball team, darts team, anglers, billiards, bowls and everyone else involved.

"It’ll be more difficult for those who use the in-house facilities, like the darts and billiards teams, as they’ll have to find another venue to carry on.

"We're looking to help the two young ladies who had their weddings booked here. We've have had a meeting with one who’s found alternative accommodation and are meeting with the other soon."

After 20 years of chairman and playing a big role in the club moving from the factory to its current site, Mr Smith said JCB's call to close the venue was tough to take.

He said: "Right now, we’re just still coming to terms with the reality that the club we’ve put so much into for so many years is closing. The work that’s been put in, as well as the number of people who still use the club, make it tough to take.

"It's very upsetting for everyone concerned, but we are simply going to have to accept the reality of the situation. These have been very worrying times for everyone here as we were all aware something was going on, but when it actually happens you can’t really take it in.

"But, until we close, we’re putting on a full programme of events and I must emphasize that we’re still taking bookings – we’ve just taken one for December 30.

"Everyone who goes to events here always comments on what a great night they've had and how much they still love the place. Our message is that we're still very much open for business and are very open to booking in more events."

Among recent nights at the club have been a talk by former Arsenal and England footballer Paul Merson and a huge Afro-Caribbean wedding. Bookings are strong already for December, when an annual panto - Little Red Riding Hood - will run on December 14.

The yearly Santa night, when children can get their present from Father Christmas, will go ahead on December 17.

Mr Smith said: "We're focused on what to do before January 1 and also have to think about what’s going to happen after then.

"A lot of the property in the building belongs to the club, including carpets, sounds systems, lights, furniture and bars, so it's going to be a big logistical task to get them moved. However, there are currently no plans in place to move the operation to another venue."

Officials at JCB, which lets Mr Smith and his 13-strong 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.

The closure comes as JCB invests £75,000 in the sports pitches and changing rooms neighbouring the club at the Rocester World HQ.