A BOWLS club which avoided closure by dramatically turning around its fortunes, is waiting to hear whether a bid for a £50,000 grant has been successful.

Just 12 months ago, Northallerton Bowling Club, situated off South Parade, was considering closing. With its finances in difficulty, the future looked bleak for the group.

But now members are celebrating as their club has put itself back on a firm financial footing and has been chosen to host county matches for Yorkshire this year.

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It is also waiting to hear whether a bid submitted for £50,000 worth of Sport England money has been successful. Chair Val Coe said the picture couldn’t be more different from 12 months ago.

Mrs Coe said: “We had to do something dramatic, so we pulled together.”

She added: “The members stood up to be counted. They’ve just done such a lot they don’t realise what they’ve done.”

The club provides carpet bowls and a bowling green and has a membership of 135. Half of its members play bowls at the club, and the rest visit as social members.

Northallerton Bowling Club began to turn around its fortunes when all its members voted to pay an extra £50 lump sum to the club on top of their subs.

They also began fundraising and attracted local business sponsorship. The club hopes to continue to boost its coffers with sales of a cookery book it has put together, containing some of the favourite recipes produced by its members and served at the club house.

If the club is successful in securing its Sport England funding, it will be used to rebuild the edges of the rink, improve maintenance of the green and install solar panels and replace the kitchen. The club provides catering for functions held within the club.

Club secretary Barbara Wallace said: “If we get the bid, that will put the cream on the cake. If we don’t we will keep going.”

The club is also hoping to recruit new members from a range of age groups and backgrounds and has invited local scouts and cadets to a forthcoming open weekend on April 26 and 27. The event is being held to get as many people as possible to try playing bowls.

Mrs Coe said: “We want to recruit all ages and abilities; it’s not an old people’s sport.”