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Sunderland Indoor Bowls club still looking for new home after Crowtree closure

Mike Davis chairman and president of Sunderland Indoor Bowling Club, which is still searching for a new site after the closure of Crowtree Leisure Centre, and has prepared a full business plan.

Mike Davis chairman and president of Sunderland Indoor Bowling Club, which is still searching for a new site after the closure of Crowtree Leisure Centre, and has prepared a full business plan.

HUNDREDS of bowls players on Wearside still have no indoor green to call their own months after their usual base was demolished.

Sunderland Indoor Bowls Club played at Crowtree Leisure Centre, but has been without a permanent base since the site was closed down for redevelopment last April.

As of yet, no new premises have been found, with options such as using Downhill Sports Complex deemed unworkable.

Members, including England international David Bolt, bid an emotional farewell to Crowtree in spring last year, as they marked the end of a 36-year association with the city centre leisure facility.

An indoor green is available at Houghton’s Sport Complex, but chairman and president of the club Mr Davis argues it is too far to travel for some of the club’s members, many of who are elderly.

He said: “We have 400 members and about 16 per cent of them are currently playing out of Houghton.”

“And about four per cent are playing at either Stanley or South Shields, which means that almost 300 people who have had paid fees to retain membership of Sunderland Indoor Bowls Club have nowhere to play.

“Some of our members who are from Hylton Castle or Red House, for example. It would take two buses to get them to Houghton and if a match finishes late on a night, they might not be getting home until 10pm, which isn’t practical.

“Ideally, we need somewhere in the central area of Sunderland.

“We’ve spoken to the members and they understand and accept that they may have to pay between £50 and £60 a year each in fees if they have to, should we get a new site which is suitable.”

Coun Mel Speding, cabinet secretary at Sunderland City Council, confirmed that the authority is continuing to try to help the club find a new indoor green. Anyone who may be able to help the club should call Mr Davis on 528 2614.

 

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