Dance teacher saves derelict building

SUS-150423-122035001
SUS-150423-122035001

A DANCE instructor has saved a derelict building and transformed it into what he hopes will become one of Worthing’s top dance spots.

Andy McGregor, 58, of Woodview, Shoreham, took over the Warren Club, situated on the old Aviva site by Grove Lodge Roundabout, after Worthing College, the new owners, moved in

The college had no need for it, apart from a storage space for old tables and chairs.

“I’m absolutely loving it,” Mr McGregor said.

“It’s a dance teacher’s dream come true to have your own ballroom.”

The project started when Andy and partner, Sue, went to look at the college’s dance studio, which was being advertised for hire.

But at the same time they couldn’t resist taking a look through the windows of the Warren Club and spotted what looked like a huge wooden dance floor.

The club was set to be demolished but the large cost to remove the building would have been too high for the college.

After approaching the college, it was agreed Mr McGregor could take over the site.

Andy said: “I knew it wouldn’t be a lot of work to get it working again.

“It was surprising to see how much it would cost, especially when, like the electrical tests, you couldn’t see any visible difference.”

The club finally opened on October 2, with a guest appearance from Jive Aces, the semi-finalists of the 2012 series of Britain’s Got Talent.

On a typical Saturday night the club can attract as many as 200 visitors looking for an evening of dancing, with classes sometimes reaching 60 people.

One of the ways Andy has used the club is to host special dances for charities, with one such event inviting visitors to wear something yellow, which helped raise £253 for Marie Curie cancer support.

Andy has also used the club to host some of the seven dances he has held in the last three years in support of Help for Heroes, which has enabled him to reach a total of £2,746.03 for the cause.

To raise the money he hosted a dance, where visitors were asked to come dressed as a military hero, a uniformed hero or a superhero.

However, one of Andy’s biggest challenges has been the decrease in visitors, due to the relocation.

Some of his events used to take place at Findon Village Hall but since his move to the Warren he has found that many of his once loyal visitors have decided not to make the trip to the club.

One of his next plans will be to develop the bar area, which is currently home to tables and chairs, piles of rubbish and an old boat.

The club is still a work in progress with plans to improve the toilet facilities and the external appearance of the building.

All the details of the events held at the Warren Ballroom can be found at www.rocsters.com