Council decision could rule indoor bowls out

Bowling enthusiasts face a double blow if Kirklees Council presses ahead with a decision not to provide an indoor facility for them in a new sports centre.
NO BOWL Bowlers want indoor facilities for their sport.NO BOWL Bowlers want indoor facilities for their sport.
NO BOWL Bowlers want indoor facilities for their sport.

Bowlers across Kirklees have been angered by a decision to drop plans for an indoor bowls facility at Huddersfield’s new £36m leisure complex.

With the demolition of Whitcliffe Mount Sports Centre, Cleckheaton, planned for December 2016, it would mean no indoor bowling facility in Kirklees. Damien Talbot, secretary of Huddersfield Indoor Bowls Club, said; “We have people from all over Kirklees coming to play at Huddersfield. If this happens there will be no bowling in Kirklees.”

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Mr Talbot, who competes nationally, said more than 700 over-55s, as well as disabled players of the sport, would be left with nowhere to go. “This is the only sport a lot of them can do,” he added.

John Bolton, a member of Whitcliffe Mount’s bowling club, said Kirklees needed to be more creative about where it offered indoor bowling facilities.

Kirklees Council said bowling facilities would not be economical as more people wanted gym facilities. But its original decision is to beheard again at cabinet later this month after it was referred back by a council scrutiny panel. Coun Peter O’Neill, cabinet member for communities and leisure, said: “This was an evidence based decision, based purely on statistics, facts and figures.”