Closure of the RAF Marham Bowling Alley

Many of you will have seen that the Station Bowling Alley has been closed for some time and it is with regret that I must inform you that it will not be re-opened; instead we will be looking for another Community use for this room.

The reason for the closure of this facility is that it does not meet current safety regulation and the investment required for it to be made safe is not financially viable or sustainable.

By way of background, we were aware that the Bowling Alley required significant investment, as was ISS, when we handed the Bowling Alley to ISS to run our behalf for a six month trial period in September 2011. ISS took on the Bowling Alleys of all the Stations that they were present at across the RAF. Based on the six month trial ISS then was able to decide whether they took the Bowling Alleys on, or handed them back. With the significant level of investment that our Bowling Alley required, it was no surprise that ISS handed it back to us. There is no public money to maintain Bowling Alleys, so any funding would have to come from non-public sources, in the main from the fees charged to customers to bowl. Our Bowling Alley has historically charged a very low fee for bowling, which has not taken into account the true cost of maintaining the Bowling Alley. So we find ourselves in the position that we do not have the funds to maintain the Bowling Alley to a safe standard.

This leaves us with the opportunity to develop another facility for the community. There has been suggestions of a soft play centre, a children’s party room, a coffee bar a karaoke bar, to name but a few. We will shortly be trawling for your views. So you are invited to come up with ideas for the future use of that room. We only have limited financial resources, but we would like to ensure that we create something that the Community wants.

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