By IH Friday 12 October 2012 Updated: 12/10 08:10
LEAMINGTON is set to become the bowls capital of England - much to the anger it would seem of the seaside town of Worthing.
The sport's governing body Bowls England has unanimously supported a recommendation which would see both the Men’s and Women’s National Bowls Championships being held in Leamington from 2014.
The greens at Victoria Park have played host to the annual Women's National Championships since 1975, with the event attracting over 1,000 competitors from 35 counties. The championships have long been recognised as a major economic boost to the area - from shops and restaurants to b&bs and hotels - bringing in thousands of pounds.
And Worthing in West Sussex has enjoyed a similar boost to the local economy from staging the Men's National Championship for over 25 years.
But with Bowls England set to rubber-stamp the move of the men's championships to Warwickshire, there has been uproar on the south coast.
Readers of the Worthing Herald have inundated the paper with letters protesting.
Will Lefebve told the paper: “A national event like this belongs in a seaside environment with charm, decent weather and beautiful floral displays, not some boring, dingy Midlands backwater."
And bowler Mary Stenton questioned the quality of the greens at Victoria Park, although she had never actually played them.
She said: “I understand from bowlers who have bowled at Leamington that the greens there are not that good, whereas those at Beach House Park are kept in a fine condition.”
The decision is set be ratified regarding the future home for the Men’s and Women’s National Championships on November 24.
Coun Stephen Cross,Warwick District Cultural Services spokesman, said: “This promises to be good news for the district.
"We look forward to positive confirmation in November and then to working with Bowls England to successfully locate both the Men’s and Women’s Championships here as well as Bowls England’s new HQ.”
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