Social club to close its doors for good after couple’s battle to keep it open

The Neon, Scotch Estate Jarrow
The Neon, Scotch Estate Jarrow

The boss of a social club in the heart of a South Tyneside estate has called time on the business.

Patrick Cunningham took on the Neon Social Club in Nairn Street, Jarrow, with his partner Rachel Allsopp.

The decision taken has nothing to do with Tony, he is a good man. I said I would give it a year, I’ve given it a year and it’s not working.

Patrick Cunningham

But despite ploughing thousands of pounds into the venue - and turning the main hall into a soft play area for children - it has failed to take off as they had hoped.

The building, which had been earmarked for demolition to make way for housing, had been given a stay of execution by owner. local businessman Tony Singh - in the hope Mr Cunningham the new business could make the business work.

However, after a year of trying the couple have called it a day.

Mr Cunningham said: “I have given it a year and now it’s time to close the doors.

“We done everything we could, we put money into the building, but people weren’t using it.

“The decision taken has nothing to do with Tony. He is a good man. I said I would give it a year. I’ve given it a year and it’s not working.

“The customers who did come and take part in the bingo have had their money back, and the regulars were treated to free drinks to show our appreciation.

“It is a shame.”

The land could now make way for 17 homes and six apartments, after Mr Singh, had previously sought planning permission prior to Mr Cunningam taking on the lease of the building.

Those plans were put on the backburner to allow Mr Cunningham time to try and make a success of the business.

Mr Singh said: “We are now just going to go ahead with the housing project.

“He has given it a year, which is what he said he would do, but there was not enough trade coming in through the doors.

“We have given it our best shot, .

The venue has been a hub of community life on the Scotch Estate for more than 45 years. It re-opened in 2017 under a new landlord. Premier Leisure, which owns several venues in South Tyneside, bought the building more than eight years ago.