Council takes on ownership of Dagenham’s May and Bakers social club after Sanofi closure
- Credit: Archant
Following the closure of the Sanofi plant in Dagenham, the council has agreed to take on the May and Baker Sports and Social Club.
The club, which is owned by the pharmaceutical firm, will be transferred to the authority to ensure residents can still use the centre.
The move, given the go-ahead at last night’s council cabinet meeting, follows the closure of Sanofi’s manufacturing plant in June.
The sports club in Dagenham Road, which includes six football pitches, a floodlit training area, two rugby pitches, two cricket pitches, a squash court, tennis courts and a fitness centre, has been open for a number of years and is a popular facility in the borough.
It is used by both local residents and as a training ground for Dagenham and Redbridge Football Club.
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The club will be run by the May and Baker Eastbrook Community Club, a charitable trust set up by Sanofi.
This will mean the council bears no financial or operational responsibility for the site.
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Council leader Liam Smith said he welcomed the move and added: “At a time when other councils are building over playing fields or selling them off, this council has worked closely with our partners and the local community to preserve this legacy.”
The site where the plant currently sits will be transformed into a science, business, manufacturing and retail park under the brand of business-east.
Mark Bass, Sanofi’s land development and partnership Leader at the Dagenham site, said: “I’m delighted this aspect of the business-east programme is now completed and that local residents will benefit from these superb facilities for many years to come.”
Sanofi recently invested £100,000 into the club as part of its legacy programme.
“[The investment] should give the club the best possible chance to establish itself, ensuring no costly maintenance work will be required in the foreseeable future,” Mr Bass added.