The New Clubhouse Project
We have been using our existing clubhouse since our formation in 1937, and for some time it has been clear that PBC would benefit from larger, modern and more flexible accommodation.
We have been thinking of a building which would be:
Disabled friendly, including accessibility and toilet accommodation.
Overlooking the Green.
Able to accommodate short mat bowling.
Suitable for entertaining larger numbers of bowlers, both for meetings and for matches, and to host visiting groups from other bowls clubs and for example the U3A and local sports and social groups.
With allocated parking, including for disabled drivers, and to enable us to fulfil our role as a public bowling green.
Able to comply with current standards on energy efficiency and hygiene and requiring less maintenance.
With an improved servery/kitchen facility.
In recent years it has become clear that Mole Valley District Council support this concept, and the decision to allow the development of the Taylor Place retirement properties next to our green in an area which has previously been reserved for recreation and public buildings provided an opportunity for progress to begin.
The developers have entered into a legal agreement with MVDC and PBC that they would provide funding of £200,000 towards the construction of the new clubhouse once the development is completed with the flats occupied. They also provided PBC with valuable technical support with our project, and planning approval was obtained in 2018.
Because of the unfortunate early death of Mr Taylor, the Chairman and driving force of the original developers, the progress of the retirement development to a successful conclusion (now by Lifestory / Pegasus) has taken longer than had been hoped, but sales are proceeding and the first occupiers have begun moving in.
PBC has accordingly now been able to obtain estimates for the construction of the new building and all the necessary site works including services. The projected costs have proved to be higher than originally envisaged due to difficulties inherent in the site and currently stand at c £450,000 which at £250,000 after the planned receipt of the £200,000 is more than the club could afford to borrow.
Unfortunately, sources of support which have helped other bowls clubs locally with grant funding are now largely having to concentrate their available resources on enabling sports clubs to cope with the financial consequences of Covid, and also their continuing support of existing projects. But this aspect is being actively pursued.
The planning approval and supporting papers including the plans of the new clubhouse can be seen on the MVDC website (Planning reference MO/2018/0931).