BOWLERS have been given a massive boost in Huddersfield.
Planning permission has now been secured for an all-weather structure with internal flood-lighting to enable Huddersfield crown green bowlers to pursue their sport all year round.
It means a former green abandoned more than 30 years ago will be brought into the 21st century.
The plan would see an “air-dome” erected over the current abandoned bowling green at Leeds Road playing fields.
A new artificial surface will be created to allow all-weather and all year play.
It would become a part of the Leeds Road Sports Complex and share facilities with the sports hall.
Kirklees Council officials say the new green would be of a very high standard which would enable competitions and matches to be played.
The artificial surface will require the minimum of maintenance but will have a playing surface much like a traditional grass crown green.
The 10.5mtre high “air dome” is a tough double-skin UPVC coated fabric which is inflated with a mechanical unit.
Entrance is through a revolving air-tight entrance and the air inside the dome is changed up to three times an hour.
Light is not required during the day as natural light is allowed through the skin of the structure. It will be floodlit in the evenings.
It is hoped that work can start on the new structure some time in the summer.
The move has been welcomed by Huddersfield bowlers.
Gerald Sykes, president of the Huddersfield and District Bowling Association, said: “I am sure it will be well used.
“More and more bowlers do want to play all year. The Griffin has a winter bowling club, and has had for almost 40 years, and other clubs have started playing in the winter.
“There is also the indoor bowling rink at the Huddersfield Sports Centre and I am sure people there will be keen to try the new facility.
“It could also provide a base for a new indoor league.”
Clr Christine Stanfield, Kirklees Council cabinet member for regeneration (south), said: “We have many good bowling sides in the area and an all-weather facility will enable skills to be honed and competitions held throughout the year, not just in the summer months when the weather is dry.
“I would like to congratulate Clr John Smithson for his vision – the uncertainties of our climate make this green an absolute winner.”
Clr Smithson said: “This is a most welcome step forward on a Liberal Democrat initiative and I look forward to the, in effect, indoor crown bowling green being available from this autumn onwards.
“I am sure it will be of great benefit to all the many crown green bowlers we have in Huddersfield.”