DROITWICH'S Legion Inn, the former Royal British Legion Club, has closed unexpectedly.

The venue, in Salwarpe Road - once the base of Droitwich Spa Royal British Legion - closed on Monday, July 4.

A sign has gone up on the door of the building informing customers of the closure, which reads: "Due to circumstances beyond our control the Legion Inn has now closed."

The note is signed by Gareth Harvey, a director and manager of the club, who was contacted, but did not respond to our request to comment.

In 2012, the Worcester News/Droitwich Advertiser previously reported on the future of the venue being threatened when a large utility bill went unpaid.

The facility, which features a large function room and was used as a community venue, was later taken over by Uphampton-based Cannon Royall Brewery after the branch of the Droitwich Spa Royal British Legion separated from it.

A spokesman for Salwarpe Road Group Ltd, part of Cannon Royall Brewery, explained previous poor management had led to financial difficulties, which had resulted in them being forced to make the difficult decision to close.

“It has been on the cards for some time,” the spokesman said.

“It is a community venue but it wasn’t really being used by people in the last nine months - the money coming in was only enough to cover wages.

“It is a shame as we spent money on a big refurbishment.

“We have had success stories elsewhere, but it is a great pity we have had to close the Droitwich one.”

The chairman of Droitwich RBL, Steve Moore, said: "It is sad news.

"I'd stress we are a separate entity to the Legion Inn, we held meetings there every few months - but we also used other venues for our meetings.

"Everyone should know our branch is not closing, it is going strong in fact."

The closure has already affected some groups, who regularly used the venue.

Dennis Clarke, a spokesman from Worcestershire Jazz Orchestra, said the band regularly practised at the venue.

"We were holding a concert there this Friday," Mr Clarke said.

"We were looking for an alternative venue but were unable to find one, so regrettably it is now cancelled.

"We are going to find a new venue fore events now, possibly in Bromsgrove."

Councillor Richard Morris, who launched an appeal to try and save the facility in 2012, said news of the closure was very sad.

"It was a good base for the Royal British Legion over the years," Cllr Morris said.

"It was an excellent community venue, perfect for bands and music.

"Hopefully something will happen, which will get it back to being a community venue again."