Calderdale Council, five local bowling clubs and the Friends of Centre Vale Park are working together to secure the future of the bowling pavilion in the popular Todmorden park.
The Council is keen to make sure people continue to enjoy bowling there, and in response to concerns from the bowling clubs and Friends group about the state of the building, met with them last week to agree a way forward for the ageing pavilion.
This came after the Council had previously recognised that the pavilion needed attention and had worked with the groups to agree some simple repairs.
At the lively and positive meeting, the Council reiterated its full support towards working with the groups to allow them to carry out their own work to spruce up the building, such as painting and basic DIY to give bowlers a functional space.
The possibility of a future community asset transfer was discussed, where local people would take over management of the pavilion from the Council, and would therefore have more control over the facility in the future.
Calderdale Council’s Head of Neighbourhoods, Andrew Pitts, said:
“The bowling greens are a great asset to Centre Vale Park and we want bowlers to enjoy them for years to come. Next year marks the centenary of bowling in the park, so it’s particularly fitting for us all to pull together to secure the future of this popular pastime. Achieving the best for the pavilion is something that the Council, bowling clubs and Friends group are committed to. Following last week’s meeting we are all confident that we can move forward positively and constructively to give the building a sustainable future, ensuring that Centre Vale continues to be a park that people can be proud of.
“We are very open to looking into the idea of transferring the running of the pavilion to local people to make the most of their skills and community links.”
Sarah Pennie from the Friends of Centre Vale Park added:
“The Friends of the park are really pleased there was such a positive response from Calderdale Council at our meeting. We all have to co-operate to improve the very poor condition of the bowls pavilion and it would be so good to get it done so we can celebrate next year.”
In the longer term, the Council and the Friends group are working together to prepare a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund to seek ‘Parks for People’ funding to enable improvements to be carried out in Centre Vale Park more generally. The bid will be submitted in February 2015. If this was successful it would allow major improvements to be made throughout the park.