Club is asset to the community

Club Committee member Derek Boyland, Cllr Shelagh Finlay and club chairman Lynne Mitchell.
Club Committee member Derek Boyland, Cllr Shelagh Finlay and club chairman Lynne Mitchell.

A seafront bowling green has been declared Bridlington’s first ‘asset of community value’.

The status gives Bridlington Alexandra Bowling Club extra protection from the threat of development of their home in South Marine Drive.

It follows in the footsteps of Old Trafford in Manchester and Blackpool and Blackburn Rovers’ football stadiums.

Alexandra club secretary Linda James said: “In the summer, Cllr Shelagh Finlay came to pay us a welcome visit.

“Our lease from East Riding of Yorkshire Council is due to expire in 2020 and although we expected to be able to renew it, there was no guarantee. We felt a bit vulnerable.

“Shelagh asked if we had considered making the club an asset of community value.

“We hadn’t but thought it was a good idea.”

Brought in as part of the Localism Act 2011, assets of community value have additional protection from development.

If the owner wants to sell the asset, they must tell the council. Community groups can then be given six months to raise the money to purchase the asset.

After initial difficulties with the application process, the club contacted East Riding Council.

Mrs James added: “They were very helpful and told us to contact our parish council who could make the application on our behalf.

“We got back in touch with Shelagh and she took the idea to Bridlington Town Council.

“We are extremely grateful to Shelagh and her colleagues for supporting us.

“It gives us a bit of stability.”

Bridlington Town Council is hoping the Alexandra Club will inspire others to look into the idea.

Mrs James said: “We are very proud to be recognised as a place of value in the community, and for visitors and tourists as well.

“People don’t just have to come here to bowl or use the putting green, they can just come and enjoy a cup of tea and the view.

“We consider ourselves to be an oasis of calm.”

Anyone requiring further information about the club should call Mrs James on 422022 or have a look at bridalexbowling.com.