Some 110 years of sporting history could end as Vale council cutbacks force two Barry’s bowls clubs to consider becoming one.

Some members of Barry Central and Cadoxton bowls clubs met on Monday, November 12 to discuss council proposals to charge each club £26,000 for it to manage the facilities annually.

Alternatively, each club could explore operating privately at a cost of around £12,000 or join together to share the bill.

With around 60 members expected across both clubs, it was reasoned that each member could face fee increases of £100 with the annual club funding shortfall raised through events, hiring rooms when not in use, and applying for grants.

Members agreed to consult wider membership on forming a new club, based at Gladstone Gardens, with the Vale council pressing for a decision by the end of January 2019.

They discussed the logistics surrounding membership of the different leagues and 2019 fixtures already agreed until October next year.

They also need the Vale council to provide detailed costs surrounding electricity bills and maintenance of the building and rinks.

Barry Central joint secretary Pat Widger said: “I feel very sorry that the council has decided to do this. Bowling clubs like us are used for socialising and keeping healthy.

“The cost will fall on the NHS. It’s 110 years of history and part of Barry’s history that will have to close.”

Vale council operational manager for neighbourhood services, healthy living and transport, Dave Knevett said council representatives had met both these clubs and they had been fully informed about plans to change the management model for the Vale’s outdoor sports clubs and the reasons for this.

“Though costs for operating a bowling green may currently be beyond the means of most clubs, we have made it clear that they may be able to offer the same provision at much lower costs by taking over management of the facility themselves,” he said. “We are looking to introduce changes as soon as possible but also wish to give clubs enough time to examine options and put together proposals for future management arrangements. Specific dates and times will be discussed with individual clubs but the council also recognises that it needs to be fair and consistent in this process. Clubs that do propose to amalgamate will be subject to same arrangements as other clubs who currently have use of council facilities.

“The council is keen to support clubs during this transition period and remains willing to meet any club that wishes. We are aware of the excellent services community sports clubs provide and are keen to work with clubs for a sustainable future.”

Vale MP Alun Cairns said: “I am naturally concerned by any potential charges for local sports clubs as no one wants to see any changes which could cause them to struggle. I am very supportive of our sports clubs, as they provide people of all ages in the Vale with the opportunity to enjoy the physical, mental and social benefits of fitness.”