This month councillors are set to consider proposals that could see a beach volleyball court joining the tennis courts on Leith Links.
The idea is mooted in a report that councillors on the Transport and Environment Committee will consider later this month that looks at the future use of public bowling greens in the city.
Fewer people are bowling, so the report suggests reducing the total number of public bowling greens in the city from the current total of 14 to 8 in a bid to save an estimated £40,000 per year in maintenance costs.
Here’s how usage of the bowling greens has changed over the last five years.
As 9 of the 14 greens currently in operation are split between Leith Links, Victoria Park and Powderhall, the proposed changes could have a relatively big impact on the green spaces in and around Leith.
The interesting part is of course what the council proposes to do with the space that is freed up, if fewer bowling greens are needed.
On Leith Links, one bowling green (The one marked A in the photo above) has already been converted into tennis courts and petanque courts with some success. However, the report also reveals that: “A subsequent proposal has been received from the Scottish Volleyball Association to convert one of the remaining greens into a beach volleyball court.”
This is a new one on us, and the report also suggests that the proposed beach volleyball court could alternatively be sited at Powderhall or Victoria Park as well.
In Victoria Park, the council has received approaches from people who’d like to lease the existing pavilion to convert it into a cafe.
The proposals for the bowling greens in this park are to: “retain two greens and investigate opportunities to integrate the bowling green directly in front of the clubhouse back into the park area.
“Interest has also been expressed in converting the clubhouse into a cafe for park users and the establishment of a “Himilaya” golf course,” the report adds, without explaining to the uninitiated what a Himilaya golf course is. Answers on a post card for that one please…
The plans for Powderhall would see the current three greens cut to one.
Given recent controversy over the pressures caused by a rapidly rising school roll at Broughton Primary School, parents will be interested to learn that proposed uses for the green space opposite the school include an expansion of the space the school pupils already use for growing food on the site – as well as using it for extra play or sports space.
The report says the surplus bowling greens could be used, “for either play area/ball court or food growing.”
And notes that: “The adjacent Broughton Primary School has also expressed an interest in using the site for sporting and food growing activities.”
What they said on the Costa Del Leith in 2008
In 2008, Greener Leith ran the Leith Links Ask consultation, and as part of that we asked people on Leith Links, including these bowlers what they would like to see improved on Leith Links, and they give their own explanations about why the numbers of people bowling might have declined over the years.
What do you think?
Officials make it clear that further local consultation will take place before any final decision is made on the future of the bowling greens, and as Greener Leith will no doubt be consulted at some point on these proposals it would be good to get feedback from our supporters. What do you think of these proposals? Is there another use that you’d like to see any of these local bowling greens put to?