Dagenham sports club to be re-launched as charity

A leading sports club is set to expand when it is re-launched as a charity next year.

The May & Baker club in Rainham Road South, Dagenham, has provided activities including football, rugby, cricket and target shooting since the Thirties.

The Sanofi drug factory in Rainham Road South founded the sports club for its staff, but it faced an uncertain future after it was announced the site would close with the loss of 400 jobs in 2013.

Sanofi bosses have worked behind the scenes to transfer the running of the club to a new charity, set to be called The May & Baker Eastbrook Community Club.

It is hoped the charity status will help the club to gain access to sports grants that the pharmaceutical company could not apply for.

Sanofi land development and partnership leader Mark Bass, 59, said: “In many ways its future is stronger with a charity status. It opens up funding that was not available.”

Trustees of the charity are set to include club members, Barking and Dagenham Mayor Tony Ramsay, members of the public and Dagenham & Rainham MP Jon Cruddas.