SPORTS fans were bowled over after securing £50,000 in lottery funding.

The grant from the National Lottery will pay for a new bowling green carpet and insulated suspended ceiling at the Durham Indoor Bowling Club, in Pity Me, on the outskirts of Durham City.

Club leaders say the existing carpet is no longer fit for purpose and the new ceiling will improve the building’s efficiency and cut energy costs.

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Operations director Rae Johnson said: “We are delighted to have secured this investment, which means we can upgrade the quality of our premises to match the quality of our bowlers.

“It is the cornerstone of our strategy to have an outstanding club for the 2012 Olympics legacy.”

The money will come through Sport England’s Inspired Facilities Fund. The bowling club is one of 324 projects nationwide to win a share of £17m.

Charles Johnston, Sport England’s property director, said: “The Inspired Facilities Fund has had a huge impact on grassroots sport across the country.

“Since 2011, we’ve invested £88m into more than 1,600 projects to improve and refurbish sports clubs and transform non-sporting venues into vibrant community sports clubs.

“It’s great to see Durham Indoor Bowling Club join the long list of successful clubs to benefit from this fund.”

Durham City MP Roberta Blackman-Woods said: “The investment by Sport England in Durham Indoor Bowling Club is fantastic news.

“There has always been a strong bowling tradition in the area and this money will help to significantly improve the current facilities at the club in Pity Me and this will hopefully encourage more people to take up this excellent sport in Durham.”

The club, opened in 1995, offers social and league bowling, coaching and social activities including dances and bridge. There is a licensed bar, meeting room, conference room and parking for 52 cars.

For more information, call 0191-384-0700 or visit Another north Durham facility to win £50,000 from the Inspired Facilities Fund was the Active Life Centre in Coxhoe, where a new all-weather pitch will be installed.

Further grant applications are invited. More details can be found at