How our club was transformed with a little help from our friends

Alnwick Bowling Club president Brian Ripley.
Alnwick Bowling Club president Brian Ripley.

As Alnwick Bowling Club prepares to launch a new season, its president Brian Ripley explains how a recent grant has helped to transform the club.

Alnwick Bowling Club, located in the centre of Alnwick and founded in 1877, has recently been in need of help.

2013 trophy winners at the Alnwick Bowling Club prize giving evening held  at the bowls pavilion.

2013 trophy winners at the Alnwick Bowling Club prize giving evening held at the bowls pavilion.

Rain was beginning to come through the roof and repeated repairs had stopped being effective. Toilet facilities were long overdue an update and access for the disabled was less than adequate.

The sums of money that were needed were beyond the means of the club, so the committee decided to seek support from SITA Trust through their Enhancing Communities Programme.

SITA Trust is an ethical funding organisation dedicated to making lasting improvements to the natural environment and community life. It operates under the Landfill Communities Fund, distributing funds contributed by the recycling and resource management company SITA UK.

The club’s application for funding gave detailed explanations and included letters of support from different local supporting organisations, including the bowls governing body, Bowls Northumberland. It was then a question of waiting.

The approval board examined the Alnwick application, alongside other claims from other organisations throughout the country.

SITA Trust supported the Alnwick project cost of £20,000 and, after the bowls club submitted a detailed project timescale, gave their final approval to proceed with the work.

More than 90 per cent of the funds have been spent on goods and services from within the county.

The work was completed, on time and within budget, at the end of January 2013.

The bowls pavilion has been re-roofed with improved insulation. Both men’s and ladies’ toilet facilities have been significantly improved and access is now possible for any wheelchair users who want to get in from the cold and watch competitive bowls.

The SITA Trust funding has also provided disabled toilet facilities within the clubhouse which, with its modern kitchen area, bar and soft furnishings, is an ideal place to watch, talk about or be involved in bowls and other social activities.

Jools Granville, of SITA Trust, said: “We were really impressed with Alnwick Bowling Club’s dedication to bringing bowling to people of all ages. Its friendliness and open-door policy means that anyone can give this wonderful sport a go.”

If you are interested in visiting one of the finest bowling greens in Northumberland, just call in!

The green is open on most afternoons and evenings from mid-April until mid-September, and we promise you a warm welcome.

The green opens, weather permitting, on April 12.