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Yes - we won our lottery bid !

posted 25 May 2016, 08:58 by Francis Czuba   [ updated 25 May 2016, 09:02 ]

Bantham & Ongar Bowls Club is among a small number of local sports projects to secure a share of £9 million of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities fund.


Since 2011, Inspired Facilities has been helping breathe new life into tired community sports facilities and converting existing buildings into venues suitable for grassroots sport.


BANTHAM & ONGAR BOWLS CLUB secured the funding which will go towards the cost of replacing the surface of their artificial lawn bowls green. The grant of £ 54,530 will help towards the cost of removing the old, worn out surface and replacing it with a new modern green. The club, based in North Weald, was established 16 years ago and has members of all ages drawn from the local community including Ongar, Epping and Doddinghurst. The club is proud to be completely disabled friendly and the new green means that it will continue to allow specialist bowling wheelchairs to be used.


Sport England Property Director, Charles Johnston, said: “The Inspired Facilities Fund has had a huge impact on grassroots sport across the country. Since 2011, we’ve invested £102 million into more than 1,920 projects to improve and refurbish sports clubs and transform non-sporting venues into vibrant community sports clubs.


“It’s great to see Bantham & Ongar Bowls Club join the long list of successful clubs to benefit from this fund.”



Club Chairman, Francis Czuba, said: “We are delighted to have secured this investment. To be honest, without it we may have been looking at closure, which would have been a sad loss not only for lawn bowls but also for the two hundred plus local people who regularly use the club. This generous grant means that we can upgrade the quality of our playing surface and additionally ensure that we can continue to implement our plan to develop the club and make it a hub for sport and social activities in the local community, a club which can cater for people of all ages and abilities.

We hope the work will be undertaken once the outdoor bowls season ends in October. We then expect to have an official launch week in Spring 2017, where not only members but the public can come and try it out”


Sir Eric Pickles, the local MP for Brentwood and Ongar, sent a message of congratulation to all club members and described the news as "fantastic". He hopes to be able to attend one of the launch days next spring.


Many more communities are set to benefit from the hugely popular fund with the latest round of the Inspired Facilities now open. Community and voluntary organisations, councils and schools can bid for a share of £5 million to help  upgrade facilities that can be unattractive, expensive to run and difficult to maintain, and to convert existing non-sporting buildings into venues that are suitable for grassroots sport.


Applying for funding has never been easier. Based on feedback from previous applicants, the Inspired Facilities Fund is now an open programme which means projects can submit applications as soon as they are ready rather than being restricted by a specific deadline. To find out more and bid, visit `