A BOWLS club in Basingstoke is celebrating after being given a grant from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.

Howard Park Bowls Club were awarded a grant of £1,000 by Cllr Tony Jones. The money has been used to buy tables for the bowls club's clubhouse, which is used by numerous groups throughout the week.

The Pink Place, a cancer charity, has been using the clubhouse to host weekly meetings for the group every Wednesday. Basingstoke Speakers Club also host an event at the clubhouse on the first and third Thursday of each month. Local band The Mr Smith Band also use the clubhouse for regular rehearsals.

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Cllr Jones said: "People from all across Basingstoke attend and use the club. Some local community schemes and clubs have been lost in recent memory, so to be able to help a variety of causes by donating money for the tables is fantastic. I know it will be a worthwhile investment for the club and the community."

Alan Tait, who has been the chairman of Howard Park Bowls Club for the past six years, said: "The building isn't in use all the time, so we thought why not try and accommodate some local charities and groups to make the most of the space and facilities which we have available to us here. The grant for the tables is very generous and we and all associated groups are very happy we have them to use going forward."

Fundraising and events manager for The Pink Place, Christine Griffiths, added: "We had outgrown our previous facility and were looking for somewhere to move, which is when we came across the bowls club. It's been great ever since we moved here and we are so thankful to Howard Park Bowls for all they have done and continue to do for us."

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Past president of Basingstoke Speakers, Haritosh Srivastav, and Alex Forrow, said: "We aim to make confident and competent speakers in the community, which can transform people's working and social lives. Much like Christine, we found it difficult to find a suitable venue which ticked all the boxes, which is what has made our use of Howard Park Bowls Club so great. The tables will be a great addition to the clubhouse for all to use."

Les and Dave are two members of The Mr Smith Band, who use the club to regularly rehearse for upcoming events. They said: "The club is great and it's fantastic that Howard Park Bowls are so happy to accommodate and help out so much in the community."