Bowls club move ‘would help play­ers and town’

Plan to bring bet­ter fa­cil­i­ties and larger pub­lic gar­dens

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Drama At Singleton Lake - By Ai­dan Bar­low

A bowl­ing club hopes to put its fu­ture on a firmer foot­ing as part of a £500,000 plan to move from its town cen­tre home and do­nate the land to ex­tend the Memo­rial Gar­dens.

Ash­ford Town Bowls Club mem­bers have been play­ing at their site on the cor­ner of Vicarage Lane and Church Road since 1908.

The pav­il­ion is par­tially made out of an old South East and Chatham Rail­ways car­riage, and cost the sum of 25 shillings to build.

But the fa­cil­i­ties are now con­sid­ered run-down and not ad­e­quate for mem­bers or those with dis­abil­i­ties, and the lim­i­ta­tions pre­vent the club from ex­pand­ing its mem­ber­ship base.

So Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil (ABC) has re­vealed a £500,000 plan to move the club to Kingsnorth and ex­tend the Memo­rial Gar­dens on to the land.

The cost to build the new fa­cil­i­ties would be £359,000, and would see the club pay­ing a pep­per­corn rent deal which will se­cure its fu­ture for more than a cen­tury to come.

Mean­while a fur­ther £150,000 will be spent on de­sign­ing a master­plan and cre­at­ing an ex­ten­sion to the Memo­rial Gar­dens.

Cash for the scheme will be funded from sec­tion 106 con­tri­bu­tions made by the hous­ing de­vel­op­ers cur­rently re­de­vel­op­ing the New­town Green rail­way works.

Club chair­man John Sadler said the town cen­tre green will be do­nated by the mem­bers to ben­e­fit the peo­ple of Ash­ford.

He said: “There are some mixed feel­ings about po­ten­tially leav­ing this site af­ter 109 years, but it is very ex­cit­ing that we will have a new pav­il­ion with proper fa­cil­i­ties in­clud­ing in­side toi­lets and dis­abled fa­cil­i­ties.

“We look for­ward to the next 100 years within the bor­ough of Ash­ford, and ex­pect to re­cruit many more mem­bers.”

It will be lo­cated at En­trance Park, land which is cur­rently owned by ABC near the King- snorth Recre­ation Cen­tre.

Cabi­net mem­ber for the en­vi­ron­ment Cllr Mike Ben­nett said: “This project pro­vides the dual ben­e­fit of se­cur­ing the fu­ture of one of Ash­ford’s his­toric sports clubs while en­abling green space in the town cen­tre to be greatly im­proved.”

What do you think? Write to Kentish Ex­press, Unit 4, Park Mall shop­ping cen­tre, Ash­ford TN24 8RY or email ken­tish­ex­press@thek­m­group.

Ash­ford Bowls Club could be mov­ing

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.