A CAMPAIGN has been launched to keep a popular sport for older people within plans to improve a town’s sport facilities.

Members of Cleator Moor Bowls Club fear they will lose the indoor bowling facility at Cleator Moor Activity Centre after plans were revealed for a major upgrade of the venue.

Detailed proposals have been developed, with a focus placed on young people and underrepresented groups such as women and people with disabilities.

Under the plans, it will become a multi-purpose centre, delivering a broader programme of sports, physical activity and wider health and wellbeing services.

Potential enhancements include the creation of sports courts, enhanced gym facilities, a spin studio, group exercise studio and a cafe.

But Les Clarke, of Cleator Moor Bowls Club, said: “It all sounds very good except within that, there’s going to be no bowling, so older people like myself, who really enjoy going bowling, will have nowhere to bowl in winter.”

A petition has been set up by worried members to keep indoor bowling within plans drawn up for expansion of the centre.

Mr Clarke said: “We’ve got a bit of a campaign going, which the petition is part of. I’ve submitted a report to the project, detailing why we think the bowling club shouldn’t close, because of the physical and mental health of elderly people, and many other reasons.

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“The majority of people who bowl are elderly. As you get older, you get less active. You often lose one partner and the other partner has got to find things to do.

“While it’s really good for Cleator Moor getting this new sports centre, we don’t see why it should be the bowlers and the older people who are going to suffer.”

Whitehaven News: FEARS: Cleator Moor Bowls Club fear they could lose the indoor bowling facility, which is predominately used by older peopleFEARS: Cleator Moor Bowls Club fear they could lose the indoor bowling facility, which is predominately used by older people

Bob Metcalfe, chair of the Cleator Moor Town Deal Board, said: "We are aware of the concerns raised by members of the bowling club and we have invited them to a meeting later this month to discuss them in more detail.

"The Healthy Town project was developed with the health and wellbeing of all Cleator Moor residents at its heart and will see significant improvements made to the Activity Centre, providing the community with a modern, multi-purpose and inclusive sports facility.

"We understand that members of the Cleator Moor Indoor Bowls Club are concerned that the proposed plans impact on the current bowling provision and we will make every effort to find a solution."

Working with Copeland Borough Council, the Cleator Moor Town Deal Board secured an offer of £22.5million from the Government’s £3.6billion Towns Fund initiative last summer.

The Activity Centre plans are part of Healthy Town, a project that aims to improve the health and wellbeing of Cleator Moor residents, aims to improve perceptions of the town, attract visitors and promote social inclusion.

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