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Former Squirrel social club reopens
6:00am Monday 28th October 2013 in News
A SOCIAL club saved by campaigning residents is set to reopen after a £1million revamp.
More than 800 people signed a petition when the old Squirrels Club in Dovercourt, which closed in 2007, was going to be turned into flats.
It is finally reopening after a huge restoration project.
The club, renamed the Waterfront, opened on Friday.
Eddie Clifton bought the site from Tendring Council two years ago and has spent £920,000 renovating the site.
He said: “People have got behind it. I couldn’t wish for better support from people in the area and on social media.
"The main building is done - it is now just the finishing touches.
“It has cost quite a bit of money, just over £1million, but I think the area is worth it.”
The Waterfront will have an events venue, bar and meeting room. It has created 25 jobs.
Mr Clifton, who also owns the town's Tower Hotel, said: “It will be open in the evenings and at lunch times for drinks, seven days a week.
“There is no membership required, people can just turn up."
The former sports and social club, which dates to 1912, had stood derelict for seven years before work began on the site last year.
Tendring Council promised it would be kept for community use four years ago when plans to replace the building with flats were scrapped.
Residents have welcomed the development.
James Cole, whose home overlooks the site, said: “Everybody has got behind it and what has been achieved is beyond our wildest dreams.”
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