Cathays Sports & Social Club: revitalising a community hub

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John Barry, Secretary of Cathays Sports & Social Club, describes how a loan from Charity Bank has enabled the club to improve facilities and secure its future.

“When I took over as Secretary five years ago, the club wasn’t in a good way. Having been established over 100 years ago as a working men’s club, the premises needed a serious uplift and the club needed more capital to be able to diversify and attract new members.

“I started to look at getting a loan so that we could reorganise the club’s finances and make improvements, but I couldn’t find a lender that would work with us. I was eventually signposted to Charity Bank and could tell as soon as we started discussions that they were different. We will be forever grateful for the future Charity Bank has given us by agreeing to a loan.

“We were able to pay off a brewery contract and re-negotiate a more attractive deal as well as make much-needed refurbishments to the building. The outside of the club was especially run down and looked practically derelict when the doors were closed. It was barely getting any business from local footfall despite being in quite a busy student area of Cardiff.

“Now, we have a really attractive facade that’s been completely re-painted and has new bi-folding doors across the whole front of the building so that people can see we’re open and what we have to offer. We only finished the work recently but have already noticed a significant difference in the number of people coming in. The interior has also been refurbished and we’ve signed up local sports teams and student unions to come and use the club regularly.

“Thanks to the Charity Bank loan, the Cathays Sports & Social Club can continue to be a thriving community hub for at least another hundred years.”

“We will be forever grateful for the future Charity Bank has given us by supporting us with a loan.”

John Barry, Secretary of Cathays Sports & Social Club