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Royal British Legion forced to close over £70k dispute
A ROYAL British Legion Club which was ordered to pay a former employee £70,000 for unfair dismissal has closed.
The Legion building on Ashley Road, Boscombe, has been put on the market more than three years after it was ordered to pay the compensation to a former bar steward.
Michelle Hayter, partner and head of dispute resolution at Frettens solicitors in Christchurch, said her client had taken possession of the property with a “heavy heart”.
“My client gave her life and soul to the club, worked there for many years, was awarded the money and gave them the opportunity to try and pay the award that was decided against them and unfortunately they couldn’t raise any funds,” she said.
“It got to the stage where really we had to take the property so she could get some of her money back.
“She needs to enforce the judgement in some way and the only way to enforce it was to take this asset.”
The proceeds of the sale will be used to pay those who have a charge on the property and any remaining money will go back to the club.
Insolvency firm the Mark Liddle Partnership had attempted to put together a rescue package that would involve selling the building and leasing it back.
But an attempt to get the necessary 75 per cent of members to back the idea failed when only 30 people turned up to a meeting.
Mr Liddle said: “It has closed. The former employee was able to take possession of the property.”
Club chairman Dennis Gillard said: “Unfortunately we have closed. The committee are still keeping the members’ wishes in mind.”
He said there was still a “small chance” the club could re-open with a new identity, in which case previous members would be welcome back.