‘Why aren’t we being told what’s going on’ - bowlers trying to save Go Bowling in Fareham

NOT HAPPY Bowlers, from left,  Graham Ozzard, Derrick Cook, Carol Howell, Anne West and Beryl Featherstone at Go Bowling. (150773-6394)

NOT HAPPY Bowlers, from left, Graham Ozzard, Derrick Cook, Carol Howell, Anne West and Beryl Featherstone at Go Bowling. (150773-6394)

Defence company staff spend day volunteering

  • Groups say they are frustrated at not knowing when alley will close
  • They say no information has been given as to when Go Bowling will be shut
  • A couple of the leagues have been able to relocate but others hang in the balance
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BOWLERS trying to save an alley facing closure say they are not getting enough information.

The future of Go Bowling is in doubt after Eskmuir – owner of the unit in Newgate Lane in Fareham – put in an application to change its use from leisure to retail.

It is sad now knowing and I feel for the staff who don’t know either.

Al Ashby

But since then, no more information has been given.

It means staff, league teams and groups that use the alley every week do not know when the doors will close.

Al Ashby, treasurer of the Youth Bowling Club, said it is frustrating.

‘In the application, it said the alley could be closed by June 5,’ said the 45-year-old.

‘But we’ve not heard anything and neither have the staff.

‘They aren’t taking bookings from May 15 so does that mean it is closing then?

‘If it is closing as mentioned in the planning application, we only have four weeks left.

‘It’s sad not knowing and I feel for the staff who don’t know either.’

He added: ‘We have been trying to look for an investor but we haven’t had any luck.’

In the planning application submitted to Fareham Borough Council, Eskmuir said Go Bowling had been trading uneconomically since at least 2008. It wanted to change the use and bring in discount clothes shop Matalan to fill the unit.

Al, from Bridgemary in Gosport, said: ‘It will be a shame and a real loss if Matalan moves in.

‘I know a couple of the leagues have been able to relocate to Bowlplex, in Gunwharf Quays, but they can only take so many.

‘For the Youth Bowling Club, we haven’t found anywhere permanent yet.

‘We’ve asked a couple of places and we’re in talks with Bowlplex who might have space for us.

‘I’d hope the children could finish the league which ends in July. It would be sad for them to come back from a national competition and have no home.’

Council leader Sean Woodward has said they cannot stop the lanes closing even if they refuse the change of use.

He said it would be a great shame but the council cannot force one particular commercial operator to trade in preference to another.

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