Evaluation of indoor bowls demand and provision to take place

Published Thursday, 18 November 2021

A review into indoor bowls provision across Coventry is to be undertaken in a bid to understand how best to provide facilities for the city and its residents in the future.

The news comes after plans to create a brand-new facility at the Avenue Bowling Club in Coundon were cancelled.

Proposals would have seen a £2 million investment into the existing Gaveston Road facility, creating a six-lane indoor bowling rink with changing rooms and toilets as well as increased parking.

The scheme was granted planning permission in December 2019, but the Council and the club have been unable to reach an agreement to sign leases for the development to start.

Financial pressures on the construction industry created by a mixture of COVID and Brexit during that time have also led to fears that the agreed scheme has also become financially unaffordable within the agreed budget.

It has led to a joint decision by Coventry City Council and the Avenue Bowling Club to no longer pursue the scheme.

The Council will now start feasibility work on reviewing indoor bowling provision across the city as part of an existing commitment to create indoor bowls facilities.

Councillor Kamran Caan, Coventry City Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Sport said: “We have not been able to realise the indoor bowls scheme at the Avenue Bowling Club.

“Since planning permission was granted, we have tried our best to reach a lease agreement but so much has happened in the world since then.

“A lack of agreement and increasing concern around affordability issues has led us to make the joint decision to stop this development. But we will review indoor bowling provision in the city before deciding on our next steps because as a City Council we are committed to – and have already provided – a range of health and wellbeing facilities for our residents.”

Al Moran Chair of the Avenue Bowls Club, added: “We’d like to thank Coventry City Council for their support but the fact is that we are unable to reach or sign an agreement to allow this development to start on our site without sufficient safeguards to ensure the existing club’s business and existence was not at risk.

“Instead, we will continue to focus on our existing members and the facilities that we have at our club.”

Norma Willey, Secretary of the City of Coventry Indoor Bowls Club, said: “We welcome the commitment of the Council to review the feasibility for providing indoor bowls facilities in the city.

“It is a popular activity for many people in the city and we look forward to working with the Council as part of their forthcoming review.”

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