Funding agreed towards replacement of Peterhead bowls pavilion

Aberdeenshire Council has committed £40,000 to help Peterhead Victoria Bowls Club replace the pavilion destroyed by fire in 2014.

The funding was agreed at a meeting of the Education, Learning and Leisure (EL&L) Committee at the council’s Woodhill House headquarters in Aberdeen yesterday (Thu, Feb 4).

A report before councillors explained that although the council maintained the greens and pavilion, the lease and insurance were the responsibility of the club.

In the discussions that followed the fire, it was noted that the lack of pavilion could lead to an end for the club and its 90-year record of participation in leagues and competitions.

Cllr Lenny Pirie welcomed the funding proposal, calling the club a ‘very important part of the community’ for all ages.

But Cllr Alan Buchan felt more information should be sought to clarify ownership of the building, and that reports should be brought back to the Buchan Area Committee and then back to EL&L.

Committee chair Cllr Alison Evison stressed the proposal was an ‘urgent matter’ and that any delay could prevent the club opening for the new season. Attention was also drawn to the committee report, which stated the council has ‘no legal interest’ in the pavilion.

Describing it as ‘an unusual situation’, Cllr Martin Ford said it was ‘a perfectly reasonable response for the council to solve a situation nobody hoped would come along.’

Cllr Ford’s motion to support the funding proposal was seconded by Cllr Fiona McRae.

Cllr Alan Buchan then lodged an amendment calling for further information and reports to the Buchan Area Committee and then to EL&L. He was seconded by Cllr Ron McKail, who raised concerns the funding could set a precedent.

The funding proposal was supported by nine votes to seven. The £40,000 will be used to support fund-raising towards the new pavilion, on the condition that the club produces a viable business plan for the development and maintenance of the facility.