Ashton under Lyne & District Kennel Association was left shocked and angry after being forced out of a building they have used for nearly 30 years.
The club has been running training classes at the Lime Street Club in Dukinfield, Greater Manchester since 1978. It held Good Citizens classes on Tuesday evenings and ringcraft on Wednesday evenings.
The club was informed at the AGM in March that the licencee would not be renewing his contract in September, but were stunned to be told by the licence holder on May 29th that the club was closing with immediate effect.
Club Secretary Anne Lunt said the way they were told was ‘below the belt’. ‘It’s quite upsetting the way we were treated. We were just told at the end of an evening class that we wouldn’t be using the building again. A little bit of notice would have been nice’.
Members have been searching for suitable clubs and community centres in the area, but have so far been unsuccessful in finding a new venue.
‘The trouble is most venues don’t want to know when you mention dogs. Understandably, places that are used for play groups and young children don’t want dogs to be used in the same place,’ said Mrs Lunt.
The club on Lime Street is owned by the J.W. Lees brewery. They operate a tied freetrade tenancy agreement whereby the building is rented by the licence holder.
A spokeswoman for J.W. Lees said: ‘Unfortunately J.W. Lees cannot intervene with the situation. It is the tenant’s prerogative to decide whether to close or not. As long as they are paying rent, the brewery has no involvement with how they operate’.
‘We are currently looking for someone willing to take over the tenancy from September,’ she said.