Royal Leamington Spa is to become the 'centre of excellence' for outdoor bowls in England.
Delegates representing the 35 counties that form Bowls England voted at the EGM on Saturday 24th November by 63 votes to 17 votes to support the Board's recommendation that all national championships, international trials and international events be hosted at the town's famous Victoria Park greens, the current home of the women's national championships, from 2014.
The decision will also see the relocation of the Bowls England headquarters to Royal Leamington Spa from its current base in Worthing, where the men's championships are currently held, by 1st January 2014.
David-Mitchell Gears, Chair of the Bowls England Board, said: "The Board of Bowls England received a clear mandate from delegates at the AGM last February to consider a more central geographic location for the men's national championships, which have been held in Worthing since 1974. The Board therefore appointed a Working Group to consider this request in detail, taking into account various factors raised by delegates including a more central location, availability of accommodation and travel.
The final proposal that the Working Group received from Warwick District Council fully met all of the identified requirements. The Board was therefore pleased to recommend it to County Associations for approval, and I am delighted that this was supported by the vast majority of County Associations. I must add that I, like many bowlers, have an emotional attachment to Worthing but this decision is best for the long-term future of our sport."
Tony Allcock MBE, Bowls England Chief Executive, added: "The offer from Warwick District Council will secure the national championships for this and future generations of bowlers, and give Bowls England a concrete base from which to develop our sport at all levels.
On behalf of Bowls England I would like to thank Worthing Borough Council for the professional manner in which it conducted itself throughout our negotiations. We look forward to working with them to ensure that the 2013 championships prove to be a fitting finale to 40 years of national bowls championships at Beach House Park."
Victoria Park, Royal Leamington Spa, has hosted the women's national championships since 1975. It was also the venue for the Women's World Championships in 1996 and 2004.
There have been several venues for the men's national bowls championship finals - most memorably Paddington, Mortlake and, since 1974, Worthing's Beach House Park. Worthing hosted the Men's World Championships in 1992.
Article sourced from Bowls England