Bowling organisers request support

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THE organisation behind national bowls tournaments, which bring an estimated £1.5 million to Skegness every year has asked for support attracting more participants.

A representative from the English Bowling Federation highlighted two issues which he feared were damaging the events during Wednesday’s Skegness Town Council meeting.

Speaking in the public session, he said: “We believe that the bowling tournaments are well worth preserving and with a little effort we could attract more visitors.

“The toilets at the south end are one of the problems we face, many of the bowlers are advanced in years and have great difficulty walking to the toilets.

“Another issue, which is a bone of contention, is the car parking - over recent years the events have diminished because of the cost of parking.”

The federation believes East Lindsey District Council, which recently withdrew its support from the events, could assist the EBF by offering free parking for bowlers throughout the competition.

The events have been able to continue after ELDC pulled out, thanks to the support of sponsors such as Skegness East Coast and Wolds Hoteliers Association, but the federation believes more assistance is needed to maintain these annual boosts to the town.

Councillors at the meeting were supportive of the request and the EBF’s long-running benefits to Skegness.

Mayor of Skegness Coun Mark Anderson said: “If we can support the EBF in any way that we can to help establish what they are trying to achieve then we’ve got to grasp that.”

Former hotelier Coun Ken Milner corroborated the federation’s claim about the tournaments’ economic impact, saying the bowlers ‘brought a lot of money in at a time when the holidaymakers weren’t there.’

And Coun Dick Edgington, who sits on ELDC’s car parking panel, agreed that a concession to parking charges would be justified by the ‘wider economic benefits’ which would then be possible.