Incoming owners hope to give snooker club a new lease of life
- Credit: Archant
The new owners of a town's snooker club have pledged to bring the ageing facility into the 21st century.
David Gluckstein and Chris Zanone, who own Woodside Snooker Centre in Norwich, took over Dereham Snooker Club last month.
The pair are looking to replicate the dedication which has seen Woodside earn a glowing reputation for its high quality amenities and welcoming atmosphere.
While admitting there is plenty of work to be done in Dereham, Mr Gluckstein is intent on revitalising a club which he says is bursting with potential.
"What we have here in Dereham is a really good facility," said Mr Gluckstein, 57. "With all due respect to the previous owners, it has been a bit slow in the past and we don't really know why.
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"The main thing that struck us is that the club looked a little bit dowdy and dull. Chris and I are going pump in some investment and brighten the whole place up.
"First we're going to redecorate and we'll buy a load of new equipment. All the tables will be recovered and French polished, there'll be new lighting, and we'll get a few new upgraded match-quality tables in there.
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"We've been here for a month and already we've seen a big increase in membership."
On the evidence of Woodside's success, Dereham's own snooker hall is in safe hands.
Mr Gluckstein and Mr Zanone have brought on board more than 1,200 members, while Norfolk-born professional Barry Pinches has practiced there over the years.
In addition to making material changes in Dereham, the new owners will ensure the club is open seven days a week and are set to introduce earlier opening times to appeal to a new audience.
The regeneration will be completed with a name change, from Dereham Snooker Club to Woodside Snooker Dereham - marking the end of an era.
Despite snooker clubs across the UK closing down at an alarming rate in recent years, Mr Gluckstein believes the sport retains an appeal that will survive.
He added: "I think are very much into pool these days because of the social aspect.
"But all it takes is for them to pick up a cue and dabble with a bit of snooker - you'd be surprised how many get hooked."