Many people don’t realise just how expensive it can be to run a successful bowling club. Whilst club subscriptions are a very important source of income, often they are not sufficient for a club to be run as well and as efficiently as possible and offer their members the facilities and general experience that they deserve.
It costs a surprising amount of money every month to keep a bowling club up and running. As well as any rental costs that may be payable, maintenance is a big drain on funds with the greens not just requiring constant upkeep but any club buildings too as well as the areas and seating around facility.
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Whilst many clubs may have volunteers to help with this maintenance, even those that do can experience a significant shortfall in funds. Thankfully, there are other sources of funding which can help bowling clubs function, prosper and even grow. The list below isn’t exhaustive, however it will give you a flying start towards getting funding for your bowling club.
Bowls England should be one of your first stops for funding. Bowls England has a specialist computer system that can generate for you a comprehensive report of funding opportunities that you and your club may be eligible for. Over the past few years, Bowls England has helped clubs across the UK access millions of pounds worth of grants, loans and other types of funding.
We were unaware of what funding was available for our club until we spoke with Bowls England. We now have a list of various sources which our committee is now working through and we hope to be applying for relevant opportunities over the next few weeks
Ian Stuart, Chairman of a bowls club in Dorset
Sport England administers the Community Investment Fund which is funded by the National Lottery. Through this, Sports England funds a wide variety of projects across a range of sports that are designed to help get more people involved. The money given can be used to refurbish premises or grounds, build new facilities or to develop activities to improve and help local communities.
More info: https://www.sportengland.org/funding/
Thanks to Sport England, we’ve been able to make several improvements around the bowling club premises enabling us to make it more accessible for those with mobility issues. We’re now able to offer our facilities to the whole community and this should help secure a bright future for the club.
Ash Patel, committee member of a bowls club in Bristol
Cash 4 Clubs is a scheme that awards grants to sports clubs across the UK to help them improve their facility. Cash 4 Clubs help clubs from a wide range of sports and have been known to help bowling clubs in the past.
More info: http://www.cash-4-clubs.com
Cash 4 Clubs were very generous in awarding us a grant for new equipment that could be used by new members of the bowling club. It’s been particularly useful in attracting younger members to the bowling club as they can now partake without having to invest in their own set of bowls.
Steve Graham, Treasurer at a bowls club in Derbyshire.
Many local authorities across the UK offer funding to local sports clubs. The authorities in question can range from county councils, local borough councils, parish councils and unitary authorities.
If you are unsure which local authorities your area is covered by, you can get the contact details here: https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council
You will need to contact your local authorities to see what funding is on offer, what the criteria is and how to apply for it.
We were surprised when we learned that our local council had a fund for local sports and community clubs. We managed to secure a grant to improve our greens as well as complete some improvements in terms of accessibility too.
Irene Kendall, chair at a local bowls club in Middlesbrough
Loans can be a valuable source of funding for bowls clubs. For larger loans, banks and building societies are often best but for smaller, shorter term loans than other sources such as payday loan providers are being used more and more. If you are going to use a payday lender, use a comparison site to look for no credit check options first.
Our club found ourselves in a rather precarious position last year. Extensive repairs following a spate of vandalism at the club severely depleted our club funds and we were forced to seek external funding. Whilst we were successful in securing this funding, there can be a delay in it being issued to you and this was the case for ourselves, leaving the club unable to meet its financial obligations. In the end, we actually took up a no credit check payday loan. This was surprisingly easy to do and we had the funds the same day. It enabled us to meet our obligations and keep the club running until our allocated funding was paid out to us.
Barry Simpson, Treasurer of a bowling club in Lancashire