THAMES Oilport has had its offer for the Pegasus Club in Corringham rejected.

The Gazette revealed last week how the consortium, which has taken over the former Coryton oil refinery, made a “substantial offer” for the sports and social club, in Herd Lane, which East Thurrock United FC also want to buy.

The future of the club, which was owned by Petroplus and used as a private members’ club for Coryton workers, was left in the hands of administrators Pricewaterhouse-Coopers, after the refinery went bust in January.

Thames Oilport has confirmed its offer for the club has been rejected by PwC and expressed the company’s disappointment.

Spokesman Ian Cochrane said: “We regret the club’s land was not offered to us as part of the package of Petroplus assets we bought in September.

“We have, nonetheless, been in regular dialogue with the Pegasus Club since July and offered temporary support.

“We have been speaking to PwC about buying the club, with the intention of putting the land in a trust to secure it as a community asset. The owners of Thames Oilport made a substantial offer in November, but this has been rejected.”

Pegasus Club manager Martin Hathaway called on PwC to step up efforts to find another buyer.

He said: “The Pegasus Club needs PwC to market the club so we can find another buyer. Until a buyer is found and we know whether or not they will let us continue to operate the way we are, we are in limbo.”

The Pegasus boasts first-rate sports facilities. It is home to nine cricket teams, six football sides, two rugby teams, 60 members of a bowls club and three darts teams.

It also has a gymnasium, a fishing lake and floodlit tennis courts.

East Thurrock United FC announced its hopes of selling off its ground in nearby Rookery Hill for “high quality” housing and buying the Pegasus last week.

The football club insists its aim is to grow local community support, build on the Pegasus Club’s existing community links, improve the facilities, and work to ensure its long-term viability. But the plans met with a frosty response from officials at the Pegasus.