The worst kept secret in Boston has been made official this morning, following an announcement that leisure entrepreneur Matthew Clark is to be the new owner of the Assemby Rooms.
Rumours have been circulating for several months that the Spalding nightclub owner was to take over the historic town centre building, but previous owners Boston Borough Council remained tight-lipped on the subject.
However, the official handover of the building has taken place this morning – and the council has confirmed that Mr Clark is in fact the buyer in the £465,000 sale.
The new owner said: “It’s natural for members of the public to have been concerned for these past few months about who the new owner might be and what they may have planned for the future of the building. Negotiations had to be kept private until their conclusion.
“I am delighted to be taking over the Assembly Rooms, a building I have admired from a distance for a long time. It represents a significant investment for our group and I will personally want to work with as many parties as possible in the district, already being involved with the Chamber of Commerce and looking forward to making more local links with Boston BID among others.
“Ensuring that the people in the district remain proud of the building and it continues to form part of the community is of utmost importance to me, therefore we are hopeful of retaining as many community functions as possible.”
Despite this attempt to reassure members of the public over the fate of the building, questions still remain over its future. However, a council spokesman said it would be enhanced in ‘a more modern context for the modern age’, and returned to more regular use.
Many people in the town believe it could be transformed into a nightclub, as Mr Clark’s current portfolio includes Loaded nightclub in Spalding, along with a bowling alley and a sports bar.
Coun Peter Bedford, leader of Boston Borough Council, said he was pleased to hear that work will now take place to restore the Assembly Rooms to their former glory – something the council simply did not have the funds to do, especially in the current economic climate.
He said: “Taking into account all costs and depreciation and allowing for income the Assembly Rooms has cost the public more than £1 million over the past six years, when the decision was taken to sell it. The town could no longer afford the Assembly Rooms. The building had no commercial future in the hands of a local authority.
“Now the building has a future, but not at any cost to the public purse.”