£6million Investment for Scottish Bowling Clubs

There is no doubt that these last six months have been difficult for our bowling community, however our clubs have demonstrated perseverance and resourcefulness which has resulted in £6.36m of external funding for businesses being accessed by bowling clubs across Scotland.

Approximately 570 of our member clubs have accessed various funding streams with the Scottish Governments Small Business Bonus Scheme and the Third Sector Resilience Fund proving the two most successful funds. A total of £6,040,000 from the Small Business Bonus Scheme (SBBS) and £181,000 from the Third Sector Resilience Fund (TSRF) has been awarded to our clubs. Most of our clubs received £10k from the SBBS fund, with the TSRF varying in amounts given to clubs. Some clubs applied for other pots of external funding, whilst most clubs looked at ways of reducing expenditure.

Aberlour BC in District 2 like many clubs received £10k from the SBBS at a vital time during one of the most difficult financial periods in the club’s history. Club Secretary, Nancy Kerr, was delighted with the outcome and the support they received from Bowls Scotland. They said: “Aberlour Bowling Club wishes to thank Bowls Scotland for their invaluable assistance in obtaining the Grant from Moray Council.

“We are also very grateful to Moray Council for providing the Grant funding to our club. The Grant will act as a valuable cushion towards expenses and the loss of income due to the pandemic and will help the club survive through this season and into next season.”

Whilst it is great that so many of our clubs received funding from external sources, unfortunately, not all our clubs were eligible to access these funds or obtain a successful outcome. To support these clubs, in May 2020, Bowls Scotland launched the Club Crisis Fund to provide Grants to clubs that found themselves in financial difficulties directly as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. The primary intention of the fund was to help clubs stabilise and manage cash flows over this difficult period.

Our clubs were able to apply for Grants of up to £1,000 to help them with outstanding costs such as rent, green maintenance and utilities. We were pleased to support 23 clubs with Grants, totalling just over £16,000. We hope this financial support will allow clubs to lessen the impact of COVID-19 and prepare for the 2021 season. 

Clarkston BC in Airdrie were successful in obtaining £960 from the Club Crisis Fund after being unable to secure the SBBS. Club Secretary, Colin McKay, was very grateful with this funding becoming available to his club. He added: “Myself and all our members wish to thank everyone at Bowls Scotland for the Grant we received from the Club Crisis Fund.

“We started green maintenance at the end of last season and had agreed to do more work in March this year when COVID-19 arrived and changed everything. When the bowling season was initially suspended, we decided to go ahead with the work but had to wait until the green maintenance company returned to work in June.

“During April and May we applied for the Small Business Bonus Scheme twice via our local council but were unsuccessful on both occasions due to not having a rateable value and not having at least one member of paid staff.

“The support we received from Bowls Scotland was excellent as they have always available for a call to give advice. Our Club is most thankful to Bowls Scotland for the Grant we received from the Club Crisis Fund.”

All our member clubs were also given full refunds on their annual capitation fees which saw of total of £129,000 returned to help them through the unprecedented times we all faced.

Bowls Scotland’s National Development Manager, Sarah Pryde-Smith, commented on our clubs dedication and what this means for the bowling community: “When we launched our first club survey at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, our clubs identified support with funding streams to be the top priority.

“We worked closely with sportscotland to identify rateable values for our clubs and put in place a strategy to support clubs via our National Development Officers as well as providing regular, accurate and up to date communication on funding streams.

“The funding awarded will go some way to help our clubs through this time, but we know that the impact of COVID-19 on our sport will be far reaching and may continue into future seasons. We are committed to ensuring all our clubs return next season and we will continue to listen to them and provide all the necessary support.”

Key Stats:

  • Total of £6.36m invested into Scottish bowling clubs
  • 573 clubs received the Scottish Governments Small Business Bonus Scheme or Third Sector Resilience Fund
    • 515 clubs received £10k from the SBBS
    • 34 clubs received £25k from the SBBS
    • 24 clubs shared £180k from TSRF
    • 16 clubs received both the SBBS and TSRF
  • Bowls Scotland awarded £16,000 to 23 clubs through Club Crisis Fund
  • £129,000 annual capitation fees returned to all member clubs


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