A POPULAR Greenock town centre social club is coming to the rescue of older people who have been left lonely during lockdown.

Regent Club organisers John Gallagher and Billy Clenaghan have vowed to bring back their bingo sessions first as they reopen.

The club will also start to serve lunches for those who have been lost without the club.

But as the Covid-19 crisis finally begins to subside, the financial losses for the club keep mounting and now stand at nearly £180,000.

Chairman John Gallagher says he can't wait to get things back up and running at the Westburn Street hall.

He said: "I was out a walk and couldn't move for people asking me about the club.

"It is heartbreaking, people badly need something.

"They are desperate for the club to open up and for the bingo to start, so we have found a way to make it work again.

"But I have to say we would not have survived all this without the furlough scheme from the UK Government and the grants from local government.

"I have to give all the governments their due.

"There is no way our doors would open again without that support, and we are an organised club with everything in place."

At the moment the club, usually open seven days a week, will be limited to half its capacity and open Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Other social clubs like the Police Club and St Laurence's have shut down during the pandemic, leaving the Regent one of the last standing.

But John said: "To be honest social clubs have been struggling even before Covid.

"We have only survived because we are well organised.

"When you look back at the Regent Club in 1988 we had a turnover of £350,000 and our most recent turnover was £140,000.

"That is how much things have changed."