Ballard Business Recovery has recently been appointed to deal with the orderly wind down and dissolution of the Kempston Liberal Working Men’s Club & Institute (‘Kempston Liberal WMC’), based in Bedford.

Kempston Liberal WMC was first established in July 1919 as a private social club for the benefit of its local members. It was later registered in accordance with the Friendly Societies Act 1974. Following a decrease in its active members over several years, a decision was made in 2017 to cease trading and market the property for sale. We are pleased to confirm that the sale of the property completed in June 2021.

The role of Ballard Business Recovery is to administer the solvent liquidation of the Club’s affairs to ensure that all liabilities are settled, and any surplus funds be distributed equally amongst the 100+ members of the Club that existed at the time of its cessation to trade.

Phil Ballard, in his capacity as Liquidator of the Kempston Liberal WMC, stated “Over the past 20-30 years in particular the popularity of private social clubs has continued to decrease. It is now often the case that the members of such clubs are ageing and there is a struggle to attract younger members to keep the clubs trading as a going concern.

As with any business, it is difficult for those in charge (the acting committee in this instance) to admit that there is no long-term future. For a club such as Kempston Liberal WMC, which has traded for almost 100 years, the decision to close the doors is never easy, but is often in the financial benefit of the members to do so. Clubs such as this often own the freehold property from which they trade. Needless to say that the properties are worth a considerable amount more now than what they would have been when they were originally purchased in the early-mid 20th century. If managed correctly, an orderly winding up of a social club can result in a sizeable return for the individual members who would have most probably only paid a nominal annual subscription.

We look forward to working with the committee over the coming weeks and months to maximise the return to the members of the Kempston Liberal WMC.”

If you would like some more information on the process of winding up the affairs of a social club, please contact us on 01543 399 520 for a free no obligation conversation.

Ballard Business Recovery is a licensed insolvency practice based in the Midlands. Providing a range of advisory, restructuring, and formal insolvency services to businesses of all shapes and sizes, BBR pride themselves on providing a tailored, proactive and ‘down to earth’ service to all. For more information on BBR and the services we offer, please feel free to visit our website or get in touch. We are here to help.