Bowling club is withdrawn from auction

Members of Wymott Bowling Club are continuing to wait to find out what will happen to their site in future

Members of Wymott Bowling Club are continuing to wait to find out what will happen to their site in future

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A bowling club’s site due to be sold later this month has been withdrawn from an auction.

Wymott Bowling Club had been listed for sale in an auction being held next week.

But yesterday it was marked as “withdrawn” on Pugh Auctions’ website.

A Prison Service spokesman said: “The land currently used by Wymott Bowling Club was due to go to auction on February 26.

“This has now been withdrawn whilst we examine sites as part of our prison reform programme.”

Last week the Guardian reported that a row had broken out over the sale of the site, which is currently owned by the Ministry of Justice.

Chorley Council was looking to buy it and lease it back to the bowling club.

The club was told the reserve price was £50,000 and the council agreed to enter negotiations to buy it.

But they say Justice Secretary Michael Gove then confirmed the site had been valued at £100,000.

Council leader Coun Alistair Bradley accused the Ministry of Justice of putting profit over its social obligation and questioned the valuation of the site.

Coun Bradley and Chorley’s MP Lindsay Hoyle have both contacted Mr Gove and Prisons Minister Andrew Selous to look again at the sale of the site.

Yesterday, Mr Hoyle told the Guardian: “We requested it from the minister. We want to resolve this so we asked if they would withdraw it from auction and they have done.”

Members of the bowling club are now waiting to find out what will happen to their site.

Rita Kitching, bowling club chairman, said: “It looks like a really good step in the right direction.”