WORK has started on the construction of a new clubhouse for York Bridge Club.

The purpose-built clubhouse will be created this year in the grounds of Acomb Sports Club after the club outgrew its old premises in Holgate Road, where it had been based since 1999.

Club secretary Mark Dunkley said trustees had been looking to relocate the club since 2014 but realistically could not compete in the commercial property market.

“There are several examples of bridge clubs across the country that have gone into partnership with sports and recreational clubs,” he said.

“In May 2019, the club speculatively approached Acomb Sports Club to see if they might be interested in going into partnership by providing land to build a new bridge club.

“The response was positive and after lengthy and productive discussions, both the sports club and bridge club are pleased with the resulting outcome.

“Both parties strongly believe the fit between the two clubs will benefit all current members and enlarge the opportunities in the local Acomb area and wider community.”

Stuart Kay, chairman of the bridge club charity, said the purpose-built premises provided a unique opportunity for the club to extend its reach and promote the game.

“We welcome new members and will provide courses teaching bridge to encourage more people to learn to play bridge or improve their game,” he said.

Acomb Sports Club, an affiliation of Acomb Cricket Club and Acomb Hockey Club, welcomed the arrival of the bridge club.

Chairman Dave Sykes said: “Whilst there might be some short-term disruption during the works, the long-term gains for both clubs in the future will be significant.”

The bridge club expects completion of the works and the opening of the new premises in late 2021.

The club was founded in 1946 and celebrates its 75th anniversary this year.

It has 250 members who have remained active through the pandemic by playing online.