Published: 17:30, 24 May 2013
A bowls club hopes it will continue to grow after it was granted a 99-year lease of its grounds by the council.
Queenborough Bowls Club will pay just £1 a year to rent its Borough Road, Queenborough, site.
The low price recognises the estimated £12,000 the club has spent on its clubhouse and facilities, and £20,000 on the green.
Most of the money has come from members’ contributions.
Vice-captain and greenkeeper John Crouch, 72, who has been at the club for 12 years, said: “This has actually been two years of continual harassing the council and pushing and shoving and it’s been one delay after another.
“We couldn’t apply for grants for things like lottery funding. With the 99-year lease we can look to do some of the things we would really like to do at the club.”
Top of the agenda is to update the clubhouse, which consists of a portable cabin donated by the former Abbott Laboratories in 1989.
It needs new windows and Mr Crouch hopes to be able to afford new tables and chairs as well.
The grandfather of four and great-grandfather of two added: “We have done an awful lot of work and we are now one of the best grounds in the area.
“We get a lot of county games and the Kent County Bowling Association recognises it as a good green to play on.”
Membership has continued to blossom to about 140, despite numbers dropping elsewhere in the county, with players ranging from seven to 85 years of age.
Swale council had identified the land as a potential site for up to six three-bedroom terraced houses and used to have a renewable annual agreement with the tenants.
A Swale council spokesman said: “The lease was agreed by Cabinet in December 2012.
“It was signed on April 8 this year although the commencement date was January 1, 2013.”
The deal is subject to 10-year reviews.
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