Gosport club happy after success in Sport England bid for new pitch

A BOWLS club is over the moon after being successful in its bid to build an all-weather pitch.

Monday, 6th June 2016, 6:06 am
(Back l-r) Richard Frazer, Peter Jackson, Derek Francis and Rob Roberts with (front l-r) Brian Kelsey, Diane O'Connor, Avril Griffiths and Tom Start, next to the proposed site of the all-weather pitch

Gosport Bowling Club applied for a grant of £75,000 from Sport England to help pay for the £104,000 refurbishment.

Now the funding has been agreed, the club, off Anglesey Road, can move forward with the project.

Social secretary Tom Start, who was vice-chairman for the bid, said: ‘Everyone is really thrilled about the news.

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‘All the members are chuffed.

‘Sport England don’t accept many of the bids they receive so we are really happy.

‘People of Gosport seem to be really pleased for us too.

‘Getting this large chunk of the funding is a real boost and people are really happy.’

As previously reported in The News it is hoped the all-weather pitch will encourage more people to take up bowling.

Despite there being a number of clubs in Gosport, membership numbers have been dwindling in recent years. But the new pitch could see more people sign up.

It also means younger people and people with disabilities will be able to use it.

Tom added: ‘All the other clubs are happy because they will have an all-weather pitch nearby.

‘They have expressed how they would like to use it during the winter.’

Gosport Borough Council has already approved the changes to the club and with the Sport England bid proving a success, the club will now get £5,000 from Hampshire County Council.

The club needs to raise the final £20,000 and has been getting support from businesses and people holding fundraisers.

Tom said: ‘It will be the first all-weather pitch in Gosport.

‘The town needs an uplift and something like this will be an uplift. It will be a jewel in its crown.

‘It’s about time Gosport had some luck and had these facilities available.’