A BALLROOM says its future looks bleak because the world famous London hotel The Ritz has told it to stop using the same name.

The Ritz, in Brighouse, an 80-year-old venue used for ballroom dancing, live music events and Northern Soul nights, says it has been contacted by lawyers from the top-drawer hotel in Piccadilly who have given the owners until next week to stop using the name or face legal action.

Owner Glenn Smith said he first thought the lawyers’ email was a scam.

Mr Smith said the notice also refers to all aspects of his venue’s online presence, which he said he has built up over the last two and a half years.

He said the move “completely shuts us off from the outside world, the internet world, which makes it almost impossible to promote events in the future”.

Mr Smith said: “What can we do?

“We could never take on that fight because there’s no way we can afford to do that.

“We would need thousands of pounds.

“Nobody would ever turn up at the Brighouse Ritz, confusing it for The Ritz in London. It’s ludicrous.

“At the moment the future is looking very bleak. How can we generate income without having the events? How can we have the events without generating interest through the internet? “Unfortunately it puts us out of business.”

A statement on the Brighouse Ritz’s website said the venue will cease trading as The Ritz from February 26.

It said: “We would wish all our loyal patrons to know that after taking the appropriate legal advice the owners of the Ritz, Brighouse, have absolutely zero alternative but to take this action due to the fact that this matter is entirely out-with their control.

“The legal position is clear in that there are other Third Party commercial entities that have the right to prevent us from using the name ‘Ritz’ in any shape or form, and , sadly, this situation has only recently been brought to our attention.”

The message continued: “You will appreciate that this is a most regrettable and unfortunate situation after 80 years of trading the business under this name.

“We will of course keep you updated as to what the future holds for the former ‘Ritz’ business.”

The Ritz, in London, has been asked for a comment.