Tuesday, 19 September 2017 12:00

Club Development Programme

A new initiative that aims to help bowls clubs across England to develop, better sustain their current membership numbers and recruit new members in the sport has been launched.

The Club Development Programme has been created by the Bowls Development Alliance (BDA) as part of its four-year Delivery Plan funded by Sport England.

Every club that signs up to the programme will receive direct support from the BDA to create a Club Development Plan that will help the club not only to provide the best experience for its present members but support new recruitment initiatives to increase their current membership.

Club Development Programme

Susan Cooper, BDA Development Director, said: “The BDA was delighted to secure a further four years of funding from Sport England that will help to both sustain and grow the sport of bowls through to the 31st March 2021."

The Club Development Programme forms a key part of our overall Delivery Plan for this period. It is an invite only programme that has been created to directly support those clubs who are most in need of external support and have found it especially hard to maintain their membership levels and to recruit new members. We will continue to review the programme and more clubs will be invited to take part as we move forward.”

The BDA is working closely with Bowls England and the English Indoor Bowling Association Ltd to identify those clubs for whom participation in the programme will be of greatest benefit.

Tony Allcock MBE, Bowls England Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted that our clubs will benefit from this initiative. I am sure those clubs who do sign up to the programme will benefit from the specialist advice and support that will be available. We would encourage any clubs who are invited in future to take up this opportunity.”

Peter Thompson, EIBA Ltd Chief Executive, added: “The English Indoor Bowling Association Ltd is pleased that there is funding and support available to our Clubs who are wanting to maintain and ultimately increase their membership. The opportunity to utilise the services and experience of dedicated development staff is a huge boost for the growth of the sport.”


Club Development Programme Clubs

Map of all the clubs that have completed or are currently part of the programme.


Club Development Programme

The Programme:

All Bowls England and EIBA affiliated clubs are invited to apply to be part of the Club Development Programme. Clubs need to meet the criteria below in order to be considered for the programme:

The Criteria:

To be eligible to apply for the programme clubs must meet the following criteria.

  • Clubs must be affiliated to either Bowls England or the English Indoor Bowling Association Ltd
  • Clubs must be willing to be proactive and take on tasks set out in a Development Plan
  • Clubs must have seen a decline of 7% or more of their net membership from 2016 to 2018
  • Clubs must have a demonstrable capacity for membership growth
  • We expect to receive a high number of applications and clubs will be processed on membership loss, capacity for growth and the supporting statements. For those who do not meet the criteria, please be aware that the Play Bowls Package (please click this link for more infomation) is available to all affiliated clubs via the twice yearly application windows.

To apply to be part of the Club Development Programme, please click here to apply online or download and complete the application form attached below, before returning it to the address at the bottom of the form. For more information, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The Process:

After all applications have been reviewed, successful clubs will meet with a BDA Club Development Officer. The club in partnership with their BDA Club Development Officer will work together to create a Club Development Plan. The tasks set out within the plan will then be actioned by the club committee and volunteers with the support of their BDA Club Development Officer.


Additional Support for Clubs

Club Matters, the essential one-stop-shop for sports clubs, will provide you with support, learning and guidance on all aspects of running a club whether it is large, small, formal or informal. Club Matters offers free, simple and bitesize support to all clubs. To use the Club Matters' resources, simply visit their website and sign up for free. An overview of how yourclub can benefit from Club Matters is attached at the bottom of this page.

Last modified on Thursday, 30 August 2018 09:10