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Crawley Bowls Club makes history

The Downsman Bowls Club played in Division 4 back in 2012 but have now made club history.



A Bowls Club in Crawley have jumped from playing in Division 4 of the Mid Sussex Bowls League up to Division 1 in six years. And now, the club have finished the league as champions.

Going into the last round of matches, the Downsman Bowls Club led by 4 points with Lindfield, Burgess Hill and West Hoathly close on their heels and with all four clubs having a chance to win the title.

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The West Green based club won a tight game against West Hoathly 6-4 meaning it was still possible to finish second or third depending on shot difference.

After some frantic phone calls to other clubs, it turns out this victory was enough and for the first time in their history, the Downsman had won the title.

League Captain, Barry Torode said:

“This was down to teamwork and the desire not to let anyone down.”

Club Captain Tony Ludbrook said:

“This was a fantastic achievement given where we were six years ago and a testament to the growth of the club who also won promotion to Div 1 of the men’s Border League, who just missed out on promotion to John Spriggs Div 1 by a single point, and who also successfully defended their Div 1 title in the ladies Nellie Mercer league”.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the club can find details on their website


‘It’s not nearly enough funding’ warns Crawley Council as business grant applications open



Eligible businesses can now apply for the latest round of business grants but Crawley Borough Council says the funding is not nearly enough.

Despite Crawley being responsible for 25 per cent of the economic output in West Sussex, it has been given some of the lowest grant funding in the county.

The government has given the council £3,733,396 made up of:

  • £1,485,216 in Local Restrictions Support Grant to distribute to businesses that pay business rates and have had to close during the second lockdown
  • £2,248,180 in Additional Restrictions Grant, which is given to businesses that don’t pay business rates and have been affected by the lockdown but not legally required to close.

Out of seven local authorities in West Sussex, only one received less than Crawley’s combined grants figure. Five councils received more.

The Additional Restrictions Grant is based on £20 per person in Crawley rather than the number of businesses in the town. This means that Arun District Council, for example, has received £3,215,160 due to a larger population but smaller economy.

And only one council in West Sussex received less than Crawley across both rounds of grant funding in April and November. Crawley received a total of £17,167,646. The highest – Chichester District Council – received £43,739,396.

In the first round of grants earlier this year only 23 per cent of Crawley businesses received financial help from the government.

Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of the Council, said:

“The pot of grant funding provided by the government is very limited and does not recognise the number of businesses we have in Crawley.

“The way the grant settlement is calculated – on population and not on the size of the economy – means we have to turn most businesses away, while other councils have millions to spare. This is causing major hardship at a time when Crawley is already the hardest-hit economy in the UK.”

Businesses that have had to close during the second lockdown can apply for a Local Restrictions Support Grant by visiting

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