300 Bearsden bowlers protest against threat to indoor hall at new Allander Centre

editorial image

Hundreds of bowlers are up in arms over a threat to their indoor facility at Bearsden.

Committee members of Allander Indoor Bowling Club met with representatives of East Dunbartonshire Council last month to discuss plans for the new-build £33 million Allander Leisure Centre.

They said they were told that an indoor bowling hall could not be included in the new centre because of financial issues.

The club, which has more than 300 members and say it uses the indoor hall at the current Allander centre up to four times a week, has branded the decision “outrageous”.

Honorary secretary Sandy Torrie said: “The treasurer and myself were called to a meeting with representatives of the council.

“We were advised that the projected budget for the new build Allander Leisure Centre had gone up from £28m to £33m and, as a consequence of this huge increase, the council are not going to be in a position to go forward with a new bowling hall.

“This obviously came as a great shock to us as for nearly 10 years the phrase ‘like for like’ was the only option and recommendation.”

Sandy said they were told the same thing at a subsequent meeting with the Allander Champion Group. This group, which includes East Dunbartonshire councillors, community organisations, council officers and EDLC Trust members, was re-established in 2016 to provide input into the design and scope of the new Allander Leisure Centre.

Sandy said: “We were told this decision was being based mainly on ‘cost benefit – maximum usage’.”

He added: “The club has in excess of 300 members ranging in ages from eight to mid 90s and in the event of closure there will be no indoor bowling facilities in East Dunbartonshire .

“The club is an active member of the Scottish Indoor Bowling Association, which has over 50 clubs registered in Scotland, and Allander Bowling is represented at ladies, gents, junior and senior levels in all the contests hosting clubs from across the country throughout the season from September to April.

“We are in Glasgow and District Indoor Bowling Association again supplying teams at ladies, gents, junior and senior levels. All this is now at risk. To lose an indoor facility, such as the Allander, will deprive many residents of their only source of leisure activity and social contact.”

Thomas Glen, Depute Chief Executive, told the Herald: “Discussions are currently ongoing as to the final specification of the new Allander Leisure Centre.

“Council officers are in discussion with various parties and will continue to keep communication channels open ahead of the final specification being worked up and considered by council.”