BOWLERS in Uttoxeter have been left bitterly disappointed as the design of the new leisure centre revealed no provision for an indoor bowls area.
The Jubilee Bowls Club has been appealing to East Staffordshire Borough Council for 14 years to create an area at Uttoxeter Leisure Centre for long-mat indoor bowling.
However, despite the multi-million pound investment in a new centre, bowlers have been left feeling short-changed without the facilities they were hoping for.
Secretary of the Jubilee Bowls Club, Nora Jackson, said: "The two speakers at the recent 50 Plus Forum from the council had the bearing of benign benefactors or magnaminous moguls handing out favours as they outlined what wonderful new amenities would be included in this amazing, excellent new centre; along with the pool there would be spectator seating, new changing rooms, family changing rooms, a dance studio, fitness rooms and more – but we have not been considered.
"It is 14 years since I first wrote to the council pleading for facilities to be provided at the leisure centre for indoor bowling.
"I have continued to write over the years, not just to the borough council but our local council, to a local entrepeneur and, with the help of the late Tony Wain from Bradley House, got up a petition with between 200 and 300 names.
"While all these millions of pounds are being spent on building a new centre, was it naive of us to think that our many requests might have been borne in mind and that our persistence and patience might at last have been rewarded?
"In spite of the fact that there are hundreds of bowlers in Uttoxeter and district, and bearing in mind the revenue we could generate, it would appear that bowlers don't matter. Shame on the planners."
A borough council spokesman said: "The council offers an extensive range of sports throughout the borough, however indoor long form bowls requires a playing surface of at least 36.5 metres in length. The sports hall at Uttoxeter Leisure Centre is approximately 28 metres and therefore too short.
"While it is logistically impossible to provide indoor form bowls at Uttoxeter Leisure Centre, the council's facilities will accommodate short form bowls, which is available at all of our leisure centres."