Swansea Bowling Club to close

SWANSEA Bowling Club will close its doors for the last time on Sunday and more Hunter clubs could follow suit.

The south Lake Macquarie club is the latest in a long line of Hunter clubs to close in the last decade.

ClubsNSW Hunter Region state counsellor Jon Chin said at least 30 Hunter clubs had folded in the past decade and more could follow.

‘‘Don’t be surprised if a few more clubs will be faced with the same kind of challenge,’’ Mr Chin said.

‘‘The cost of running a business, clubs included, is tougher and tougher.’’

He pointed to the carbon tax and rises in electricity, water and council rate bills as ‘‘not helping our cause’’.

Belmont 16ft Sailing Club’s board made the decision to close Swansea Bowling Club at a board meeting on Tuesday night.

The bowling club was built more than 50 years ago, but the sailing club took it over in a 2003 amalgamation.

Sailing club chief executive Scott Williams said the bowling club was no longer financially viable.

‘‘We’ll close at 6pm on Sunday and that’ll be it,’’ Mr Williams said.

‘‘We tried a number of things, including an amalgamation with Swansea Workers Club, but it didn’t come through.’’

The club tried to reduce costs, but patronage and revenue declined.

‘‘The numbers didn’t stack up,’’ Mr Williams said.

Mr Chin sympathised with sailing club board members who made the decision and affected bowlers.

‘‘At the end of the day, they are running a business,’’ he said.

‘‘When income is not sufficient to meet expenses, something has to give.’’

Mr Williams said the bowling club had been making a loss, compelling the sailing club to subsidise it by $20,000 a month.

‘‘People just don’t have the money to spend that they might otherwise have had in years gone by,’’ he said.


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