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Magna helps bowling club's dreams come true

A local housing association has helped Watchet Bowling Club to get a bit closer to realising their dream of building fantastic new facilities for the local community.

Magna Housing donated £500 to the building fund the club has set up to achieve its plans to expand its facilities significantly.

The ambitious plans include new indoor and outdoor bowling facilities, a gym and a large function room with bar and catering facilities for public hire or exercise classes.

The whole project is expected to cost in the region of £1.5 million.  The club hopes that they might be able to complete it all by 2020.

Marilyn Binding is treasurer of the building fund Project for Watchet Bowling Club.  She said: “We are incredibly grateful to Magna for their kind donation. 

“We have had some donations from other groups and we have been successful in getting some grants, but we have to raise an awful lot of money so anything we can get makes a real difference.

“We don’t have any community facilities currently in Watchet to match what we are planning to build, so this will be a great place for everyone.”

The project is being completed in three phases.  The club has already bought the garages that were on the site of the new facilities.  The second phase is to demolish the garage blocks and build a new indoor green.

Before work starts on the second phase, the club wants to make the outdoor green smaller so the donation from Magna will go towards reducing the size of the bowling green ready for the next stage of the project to proceed.

The club is pleased with the progress that has been made so far.  Marilyn added: As well as purchasing two garage blocks from Magna, we have obtained planning permission and had a feasibility study and plans drawn up.   We’ve also appointed an architect and quantity surveyor for the next stage. 

“We will reduce the size of the bowling green in the autumn, once the outdoor season has finished. Hopefully all the funding will then be in place, ready to demolish the garages and start building.”

Neil Bliss, Magna’s resident and community engagement officer, said: “We support the communities we are based in and you can’t get a better example of a community project than something like this which everyone in Watchet will be able to take advantage of.  We are really proud to be a part of it.”

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