As the new bowling season for the year began on Tuesday, a newly improved bowls pavilion was unveiled at Victoria Park in Leamington as it looks ahead to host the national bowls championships this summer.
After 40 years of hosting the women’s championships, the park will for the first time this year also be the venue for the men’s event. As part of preparations for both tournaments, Warwick District Council, which runs the park, has invested in refurbishments to the pavilion, which took place over the winter.
As well as new changing facilities, the building now also has a new roof, with the work having been carried out by construction service provider Balfour Beatty.
Cllr Stephen Cross, responsible for policy on culture, said: “2014 marks the start of a new relationship between Warwick District Council and the sport of bowls.
“As the events hosted at Victoria Park increase in number, the profile of the district will increase and there will be significant economic benefits for local businesses as the number of visitors attending bowls events rises.
“We have a wonderful district with many attractions and we are working closely with local businesses and Bowls England to ensure that the maximum benefits can be achieved during the year.
“All events held in Victoria Park are open to spectators and we encourage local people to come along and watch some world class, highly competitive bowling.”
Ian Taylor, regional managing director for Balfour Beatty, said: “It was a pleasure to work with Warwick District Council on this exciting extension and refurbishment project and I wish all those involved in Victoria Park bowls every success for the summer ahead.”
The Bowls England National Championships start on the August 2 and run for 30 days. The district council has agreed to provide parking for competitors on Victoria Park for 28 days each summer during the championships, despite a campaign opposing this option by the specially-formed Friends of Victoria Park group. Council officials had argued that it would be the most cost-effective option for the council and its taxpayers.
Entry for spectators to the championships is free. Further details will become available closer to the time of the event.