Swindon Manor Indoor Bowls Club (SMIBC), formerly Swindon Oasis Indoor Bowls Club, has moved into the Swindon Borough Council-owned E2 building in Cheney Manor industrial estate.
The council spent months last year working with the club to find it a new home after Moirai Capital Investments Ltd agreed to take over the Oasis Leisure Centre as part of a £65m scheme to build an indoor ski slope, indoor arena and water park.
Following a refurbishment of the building, the bowls club unveiled the indoor facility to the public in February.
The council spent £130,000 refurbishing the building, while Moirai put in a further £70,000. The refurbishment included installing the bowls carpet, improvements to the roof, refurbishment of the toilets and electrical works.
Facility can be used by whole community
SMIBC, who have also made a number of improvements including painting and decorating the building, will pay for the running of the building. The club, which has a 400-strong membership, is also hoping other groups will use the spare capacity in their new home so the facility is used by the whole community.
Cllr Keith Williams, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure and Strategic Transport, said: “Swindon Manor Indoor Bowls Club is a real asset to the community and we have worked really hard to find them a new home over the last year.
Site exceeds expectations
“I am pleased we have been able to deliver a site which exceeds their expectations and I look forward to them building on the success they enjoyed at their former venue.”
Mike Silvester, SMIBC committee member said: “To reach this stage of its development SMIBC owes a debt of gratitude to many people, including Swindon councillors, officers of Swindon Borough Council and the committee of the Swindon Sports Forum.
“Additionally, thanks must be extended to the SMIBC committee and numerous volunteers from our members who have worked tirelessly to achieve our current position. SMIBC are now independent of the leisure facilities operated by Swindon Borough Council. However, at the request of the council, SMIBC have accommodated regular casual bowlers who, along with Swindon (Oasis) Indoor Bowls Club, were displaced from the Oasis Leisure Centre.
Snooker players also welcome
“Similarly, with the installation of two snooker tables in our new premises, SMIBC have offered to accommodate the regular casual snooker players who were recently displaced from the Haydon Wick Leisure Centre. SMIBC are also investigating the purchase of two wheelchairs to enable disabled people to enjoy the facilities that we have to offer at our new venue.”
SMIBC welcomes new and established bowlers and also runs junior and adult coaching sessions.
The club runs 12 competitive leagues for both men and women and also has a programme of friendly games against other clubs.
If anyone is interested in joining the club or would like more information please contact: Mike Silvester (01793) 538659; Alan Bennett (01793) 330017; or Barbara Moody (01793) 722410. Alternatively, call the club on: 07587 876560.