Members close in on bowling centre buy-out with £26,500

PLEDGES towards the resurrection of Newton Stewart Indoor Bowling Centre so far total £26,500 but the new committee still need to secure another £8500 by April 24 to save the facility.

A meeting at the Riverside Day Centre on Wednesday night, chaired by Alistair McMillan, the last president of the bowling centre before it shut in October, heard that “progress was being made” towards the buy-out.

The financial plan is not finalised and the business plan still needs more work, but future fundraising ideas were discussed and the council was to be approached for help. A new club was born and will be known as the Newton Stewart Community Indoor Bowling Club.

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The committee has Alistair McMillan as president and Bill Murdoch as vice, Barry Conlan is secretary and Keith Scroggs and Jessie Houston are joint treasurers. They plan to give the new club the status of a “charitable company” with the members owning the centre rather than one person.

Making the bowling centre financially watertight will be achieved by cutting energy costs, an increase in fees and the use of volunteer staff.

The bowling centre was closed last year after owner Murray Findlay said it was not financially viable to continue. When a proposed sale fell through he offered it to the members for £175,000.