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Bowls championship bids ‘not level playing field’
10:15am Friday 12th October 2012 in News
A council leader says that a study that could see the national bowls championships taken away from Worthing was not a level playing field.
Worthing Borough Council leader Paul Yallop claims the council was not offered the chance to bid to host both the women’s and the men’s events while rival Leamington was.
Following the report, Bowls England has recommended that from 2014 the women’s and men’s championships will both be held in the Midlands town.
A final decision, which could cost Worthing’s tourism industry £1 million, will be taken next month following a vote by 35 county associations.
Coun Yallop also questioned figures produced by a local radio station on hotel costs in the report by Bowls England.
A survey conducted by Radio Sussex found that accommodation, food and drink were on average 20% cheaper in Leamington Spa than Worthing.
The report said Worthing’s offer to host both men’s and women’s championships was not considered because of its location.
Worthing Borough Council had offered to pay £20,000 from 2014 which would have been increased to £25,000 per year from 2019 if the contract was extended. The group’s report accepted that the layout in Beach House Park was a better facility for spectators than that offered in Leamington.
Coun Yallop said: “I had always thought sport was played on a level field or in this case bowling green.
“However, it is disappointing that Worthing’s attempt to bid on the same basis as Leamington Spa was disallowed by Bowls England.”