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Bowling club could be made to stump up debt

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By Marc Mclean, Local Democracy Reporter
Dumfries and West
Bowling club could be made to stump up debt

A BOWLING club could be made to stump up £5000 – 12 years after borrowing the cash from Dumfries and Galloway Council.

Sanquhar Bowling Club was granted an interest free loan by the local authority in 2010 on the agreement that the money would be repaid within ten years.

With the debt still standing, the matter is due to be discussed at Sanquhar Common Good Fund sub-committee next Wednesday.

A report produced for the council meeting reads: “Nithsdale Area Committee, in the absence of a Sanquhar Common Good Fund sub-committee, discussed and agreed at its meeting on January 20, 2010 to make an interest free loan of £5000 to Sanquhar Bowling Club on the basis that this loan would be repaid upon the sale of the land owned by the club or within ten years, whichever materialised first.

“A loan was agreed, and not a grant, as the grant criteria stated ‘no award will be given to any adult organisation which charges membership fees’.

“Sanquhar Bowling Club have never managed to sell the land or repay the loan. The land is listed on the market at offers over £80,000. Officers have discussed this with representatives of the club.

“Currently the club are in a financially better position than they have been in previous years, however funds they do have available are ringfenced to upgrade the locker room which is in a state of disrepair.”

Three options have been put forward to address the outstanding debt, which include asking the club for repayment in full, extending the repayment period for another ten years, or agree to discuss a repayment plan with the bowling club.

A decision will be taken by the four members sitting on the Sanquhar Common Good Fund sub-committee. They are Mid and Upper Nithdale councillors Jim Dempster, Matthew Ronnie, and Andrew Wood, along with community council representative Ronnie Johnstone.

Sanquhar Bowling Club, which is located in Queensberry Square, celebrated its 150th anniversary last year.

It is the home club of famous bowler James Brown, co-founder of the Scottish Bowling Association in 1892.


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