Indoor bowls club has Harbury Lane option


Indoor bowls could come to a rural site in Leamington further strengthening the town’s claim of being the ‘Bowls capital of England’.

Warwick District Council’s executive committee will decide on Wednesday whether to agree in principle to offer a long term lease on part of the Harbury Lane sports field to Avon Valley Indoor Bowls Club on a peppercorn rent.

The club is currently based at Jaguar Land Rover’s Gaydon site and has approached the council for assistance to reloacte its facility after it was told by its landlord that it would not be able to remain at the site when the lease ends in 2020.

The raising of funds for the facility, which would include changing rooms, and its construction would be the responsibility of the club.

The site would offer an all-year round sporting facility and would have the added benefit to the council of deterring illegal encampments which has cost the authority £5,000 over the last few years.

Additionally, the estimated £500,000 costs of maintaining the existing changing rooms on the site over 30 years would be passed on to the bowls club.

Cllr Stephen Cross, who is the district councillor responsible for policy on culture, said: “There is a little way to go before things are sorted out but in my mind this is a big plus because I know a few people who play at the club and Harbury Lane is about the same distance from Stratford as Gaydon and for some it is more accessible.

“With Bowls England’s presence already in Leamington this will offer a different aspect of the sport and there ‘s plenty of players who like to play both outdoors and indoor and this will keep them playing throughout the year.

“One of my memories of Tony Allcock, the chief executive for Bowls England, is of of him playing at the Potters Indoor Championshiop.”

Should the agreement be made in principle then the council would require a further report to be brought to the executive committee once the bowls club has raised the required funding.