SENIOR councillors have given the green light to buy back the lease for the Bournemouth Indoor Bowls Centre at King’s Park.

BCP Council’s cabinet agreed unanimously on Wednesday to sign-off on the deal for the Boscombe facility, which it already owns the freehold for.

Cabinet member for regeneration, councillor Phil Broadhead, said the council was still “committed” to hosting bowls from the centre but that the purchase was a “strategic opportunity”.

Funding to buy back the lease, a sum the council has not made public, will either come from the £21.7 million Boscombe Towns Fund grant or be borrowed.

The purchase was included in its original bid but with the council receiving a smaller amount than it applied for, it will need to be approved by the towns fund board.

Should this not be the case, the council is planning to borrow the money to fund the deal.

A cabinet report said bringing the centre in-house would allow the council to “better manage the site for wider community benefit”.

It added that the deal would “bring together fragmented services and generate income for the council without increasing costs significantly”.

The council leased out the site to Bournemouth Indoor Bowls Club in 1996 for 99 years, charging £19,000-a-year in rent.

In turn, the council sublets the first floor of the building to host a learning centre.

Speaking at Wednesday’s cabinet meeting, councillor Phil Broadhead, the cabinet member for regeneration, said the purchase was part of “big ambitions” for improving the facility.

“The reason we are looking to reacquire in the form of indoor bowls centre is not because we don't like bowls, it’s quite the opposite,” he said. “This is not about getting rid of bowls…as it is still a really, really important function.”

He added: “We are continuing to provide that function, but it's about happening the strategic opportunity to have this asset for the future.”

Cabinet members unanimously agreed to support the repurchase the centre, either through the Towns Fund grant, or through borrowing if that is not approved.