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Future safe for Jersey Bowls Club

The future of the Jersey Bowling Club is safe, according to the Constable of St Helier.

As reported by Bowls International in our September 2021 issue, a campaign had been launched in Jersey to save the islandโ€™s oldest bowling club – facing demolition to make way for an access route to a new hospital – despite being highlighted by the government as one of the facilities to keep people out of the very building that was intended to replace it.

Simon Crowcroft hopes the parish will be able to extend the clubโ€™s lease before Christmas if the governmentโ€™s decision to ditch plans for a single-site hospital at Overdale is approved.

Jersey Bowling Club has existed for more than 110 years. A walk into the clubhouse shows you a club rich in history and a long and distinguished international honours board is proudly hung depicting numerous international successes.

Last week, Infrastructure Minister Tom Binet announced that the government was now pursuing a hybrid hospital spread across the existing Gloucester Street site, adjacent land at Kensington Place and Overdale.

This means that plans to relocate the club so that the road could be widened are likely to be shelved.

Mr Crowcroft said: “It is my view that the future of the bowling club at Overdale is safe. I would love for them to stay there and it is what I have campaigned for all along.

“Last week I asked when the question mark around the future of the club would be removed and the minister said he was hoping to have some answers before Christmas.

“Assuming the government doesnโ€™t renew its efforts to dig up the bowling club, I would expect a new lease to be issued to them very soon.”

He added: “It is a historic site and has enormous value to St Helier. Iโ€™m sure parishioners would want to support any refurbishments they require because many of them are members of the club themselves.”

Jim Le Lion, president of the Jersey Bowling Club, said that the club were still waiting to see where they stood. He said that they were unable to maintain the โ€˜deterioratingโ€™ greens until they had a definitive answer on their future.

“The lease with the parish is due to end in February next year and they cannot give us a proper lease until we are know what is going to happen,” he said.

“Our AGM is being held soon, when we will give members a further update. Our gut feeling is we will be allowed to stay next year.”


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