Bowled over by grant from local council

'Left to right : Gordon Burr, David Rhodes, Councillor Annabel West and Club Chairman Frank Eveleigh
'Left to right : Gordon Burr, David Rhodes, Councillor Annabel West and Club Chairman Frank Eveleigh

Gildredge Park Bowling Club – which recently became the first bowling club in

Sussex awarded a prestigious Clubmark – has received a grant of over £700 from

Eastbourne Borough Council.

It follows an update of the club’s constitution, making it clear that membership is open to anyone in the community. The club already houses the Eastbourne Blind Bowling Club, which plays there regularly, and has several successful deaf members.

The grant pays for a new noticeboard to welcome visiting players, plus the cost of the improved website.

“This is a very welcome help to our efforts to make the club more accessible to anyone interested in bowls,” said the club’s chairman, Mr. Frank Eveleigh.

“It comes at the start of an exciting year for the club, starting with the award of Clubmark, the accreditation scheme for community sports clubs. We’ve calculated that 12,000 people a year come through our gates, and the new noticeboard will welcome them all in a more professional way.

“Many bowling clubs from around the country enjoy coming to Eastbourne to play at the club each year, and several of them stay in local hotels to make the most of their visit.”

“Having gained planning permission to extend the clubhouse, we’re keeping our fingers crossed that we’ll raise the money to do it and make it even more comfortable for new members and visitors.”

The grant comes from the Council’s devolved budget, where each ward is given £10,000 to spend on “quick fix one-off works or initiatives to improve the lives of residents within each of the nine council wards”.

One of the Upperton councillors, Annabelle West, who lives near the club, recommended the grant and presented the noticeboard to Mr Eveleigh, at a club coffee morning.