It has been announced that the South West Snooker Academy and Capital Venue in Gloucester will close its doors to the public later this year.
On the snooker scene for about a decade, the South West Snooker Academy became an immediate success when the sport’s outlook shifted in 2010 with the beginning of the Barry Hearn era.
An influx of new tournaments onto the professional calendar saw numerous minor ranking events staged there.
Stephen Lee captured the first title accredited to World Snooker when the now banned Englishman defeated Stephen Maguire in the final of the 2010 MIUS Cup.
For the next three years, the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan, John Higgins, and Judd Trump were other star names to win trophies in Gloucester.
The annual Pink Ribbon charity fundraiser was another popular tournament staged at the SWSA, with the overall amount raised exceeding £100,000.
Stuart Bingham captured the last Pink Ribbon in July with a tight 4-3 victory over Mark Allen.
For this writer, the rise of the SWSA coincided with the early days of SnookerHQ with Gloucester being one of the first destinations that I went to.
There was always a friendly atmosphere and, though it didn’t stage as many events in recent years, its presence on the snooker scene will be missed.
Owner Paul Mount said: “After almost 10 years creating amazing events and memories I have decided to permanently close the South West Snooker Academy (SWSA) and the Capital Venue on 30th November 2019 so that I can use the space for a variety of other things including a private snooker room containing 4 tables.”
“As I agreed with Barry Hearn many years ago the SWSA to me is like Leighton Orient football club to him; a labour of love which will costs us money and give us lots of fun. When the fun stops it’s time to stop.
“There will be one final competition on the weekend of 1st November after which I will be selling most of the assets including the bar, most hardware within the bar, bar stock, 6 star snooker tables, a large number of new snooker cues, sets of G1 snooker balls and catering equipment.
“A full list of items for sale will be published shortly, including details on how to bid, and each item will be sold to the highest bidder.
“I would like to thank all those that supported the SWSA, especially the Pink Ribbon, and trust you have enjoyed your visits to us and have some of your own magical memories from this place.
“I would especially like to thank all the staff of SWSA and Capital venue, both the permanent staff and those that have worked casually or volunteered for some of our charitable events.
“A big “shout out” has to go to Andrew Norman who has been the nucleus of all things snooker for some years and has developed into a first class coach.
“The private snooker room will be available to SWSA snooker teams, for their matches and practice, and for invited tour professionals, to practice.
“Opening times will be limited and I will provide more detailed information to SWSA team captains in a meeting to be organised in the coming weeks.”
sad news So sad to see it hasn’t worked to its full potential with all the hard work and love that’s has gone into it.Well done to Paul and everyone involved.And big Thankyou to Paul Mount you helped me in my career what a true gent you are Wish you all the best with the future x https://t.co/Jf6P0VCIXD
— reanne evans (@evans_reanne) September 17, 2019