A community club has had access to its grounds bolstered thanks to a major £10,000 grant from a nearby wind farm.
Entering its 125th year, Douglas Victoria Bowling Club is now able to welcome people with mobility issues to its popular bowling and social club, having been awarded £10k from South Lanarkshire Council and Banks Renewables.
The new access installation has been made possible by the Renewable Energy Fund (REF) – local funding that is managed and distributed by South Lanarkshire Council utilising funding from Banks Renewables and other developers’ nearby renewable projects.
Ian Tweedie, Treasurer of Douglas Victoria Bowling Club said: “As a growing club, there has been a real need for accessibility for a while now so that elderly people and those with mobility issues can have full access to our facilities – we’re very grateful for the REF funding to make that possible.
“Bowls is an extremely inclusive game, it lends itself to the ageing population and those that struggle with mobility due to its high health benefits and low injury risk, that’s why an access ramp has proved so crucial to keep the club thriving.
“The funding ensures we will continue to provide an inclusive experience for all of our members and maximise the usage of what really is an excellent facility for Douglas.”
Nicknamed the villa, the bowling club bolsters 50 members and acts as a vital community hub for the members in and around South Lanarkshire.
The club, which was founded in 1887, competes in the Lanarkshire Bowling Association as well as the Bowl Scotland leagues and provides a variety of coaching and come and try sessions for all. With 13 committee members, the club is completely run by volunteers.
Robin Winstanley, sustainability, and external affairs manager at Banks Renewables said: “It is incredibly important to us to support vital community hubs that serve as social points for all members of communities.
“It is incredibly rewarding to see how positively the funding from the Renewable Energy Fund has been used at the Douglas Victoria Bowling Club and is yet another excellent example of how small communities can get big benefit from nearby wind projects.”
The REF comes from renewable developments across South Lanarkshire which helps communities within 10km of participating wind farms.
Councilor Robert Brown, Chair of Community and Enterprise Resources at South Lanarkshire Council, said: “The bowling club is a vital resource for the people of Douglas, bringing social as well as sporting benefits, and it is great to see that this funding is helping to ensure that all members of the community will be able to enjoy it to the full.
“This is a great example of how partnership working and mutual support between the council and Banks Renewables can make real and positive changes to the lives of people in rural South Lanarkshire communities as well as the wind farms themselves contributing to a more environmentally responsible future for us all.”
Banks Renewables is part of the Banks Group and has currently secured funding for fourteen wind farms with seven currently in operation across Scotland.
The REF fund is part of Banks Renewables’ Connect2Renewables initiative, in which the family firm commits to maximising the economic, social, and environmental benefits of all its wind farms in South Lanarkshire.