New buyer found for town bowling centre

Newton Stewart Indoor Bowling Centre has been sold after months of uncertainty over its future.

But despite efforts by the bowlers to arrange a buyout of the Minnigaff facility, 
they have been unsuccessful and the new owner is an 
un-named man “with local connections”.

The bowlers set up a committee and had hoped to pull together a mortgage to save the centre after owner Murray Findlay put it on the market having heavily subsidised it for many years.

They secured funding from Wigtown Area Committee and voluntary donations, and an offer was made at a reduced asking price but was later withdrawn.

The Findlay family were keen to stress the centre was still on the open market just last month, and this week, 
estate agent Gal loway and Ayrshire Properties confirmed a sale had been completed.

Mr Findlay told the Gazette he hopes whatever the future holds, the public and the new owner can see eye to eye.

He said: “It is a great relief to have this completed and behind me now. It’s been a really long drag, going on for over a year.

“I feel I was messed around with it all so now I can just 
look forward and I do hope he [the buyer] and the public can get along nicely.”

He added that the buyer had “local connections” but declined to name him.

The building, which sits in a residential area, had previously been eyed up by local businessman Chris Cadman-Goodwin who had sought planning permission to make the building a warehouse for his computer business. But this was later withdraw amid local objections.

Mr Findlay saved the centre from closure 13 years ago but now, aged 87, a family spokesperson said last month that the burden of maintaining ownership was too much.

Cree Valley Community Council and local councillors had expressed support in keeping the centre open 
given its importance to the 
local community.