ICONIC VENUE: Supporters are rallying to save Coffs Harbour Deep Sea Fishing Club.
ICONIC VENUE: Supporters are rallying to save Coffs Harbour Deep Sea Fishing Club. Trevor Veale

Buyers circle Fishos as community rallies for its future

POTENTIAL buyers have cast their eyes over the beleaguered Coffs Harbour Deep Fishing Club as community support for the venue continues to grow.

Twenty expressions of interest for the purchase of the club have been received by accountancy firm Grant Thornton Australia after the club fell into voluntary administration on April 15.

The club had struggled to remain profitable over the past five years, with its 2014 annual report outlining over $2 million in combined losses since 2010.

Grant Thornton Australia administrator Andrew Sallway said he could not reveal who may be interested in restructuring the business, but an amalgamation or asset sale were on the cards.

"We have received strong interest in the club - one party is another club seeking an amalgamation and the other interested parties are all very focussed on supporting the community and providing a home for the club," Mr Sallway said.

"There is tremendous community support."

According to the sale advertisement, the 51-year-old "iconic" club had a membership base of 3532 people and an annual turnover of more than $2.6 million

In addition to the interested parties, a new group called Save the Fishos Club has been formed by dedicated club members to facilitate a turnaround for the club.

The group is working with Grant Thornton Australia, the existing board of directors, members and interested people from the wider Coffs Coast community.

Group spokeswoman Casandra Cameron said a meeting will be held on Monday to discuss ideas for "a new look fisho" that could become a meeting point for sporting groups, art exhibitions, functions and events.

Club president Bill Mabey said he was in support for the group but added that it "was too early to tell" how the sale would unfold.

The Save the Fishos Club public meeting will be held at 6pm on Monday at the fishing club.

Ideas can also be lodged to savethefisho@gmail.com or the group's Facebook page.

The next creditors meeting is scheduled for May 26.



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