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Barham Bowls Club

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Barham Bowls Club are a village bowls club just outside Canterbury. We asked them to share their experience of obtaining Covid-19 emergency funding, so others can learn from real life experience.

The club were offered a grant in response to the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak following the government announcement there would be support for small businesses and businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. In the case of bowls (leisure) we come under the latter definition of Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF).


Canterbury City Council, acting like agents for the government, wrote to directly advise us of our possible eligibility to receive a grant if we fulfilled the criteria as set out in their letter. More information if needed was available on their council website. Basically it all relates to the property rateable value:

  • £15,000 or below are eligible for a cash grant of £10,000.
  • over £15,000 but less than £51,000 is eligible to receive £25,000.

Only one grant is payable per property.

bowling green and club house at Barham Bowls Club

What to apply for?

Having seen various social media and information sheets put out by various parties, confusion could get the better of anyone thinking or hoping to apply but it’s fairly straightforward. Get your local authority letter (in our case Canterbury City Council) and follow the simple instructions. In the case of bowls clubs we will all come under the RHLGF.

The process

Normally the person who receives the business rates information/bills at the club will receive the invitation to apply and as stated above bowls (sport) will come under the RHLGF.

The treasurer of each club should have the relevant details required for the application i.e. bank details (screenshot or photograph), VAT registration number (if applicable) and business rates account reference number.

Simply fill in the details on the online form and send. Once the form is received the promise is to take no longer than five working days for the payment to reach the account, assuming everything is in order.


Before the grant the members of our committee were concerned about our financial situation. With the indoor bowling season not finished and the outdoor not even started revenue ceased overnight. Some members felt unable/unwilling to stump up annual subscriptions because of the virus and general uncertainty of the global situation and personal circumstances making matters worse. However the £10,000 cash grant received will ensure the club can be maintained during this difficult period and hopefully beyond.

With thanks to Barham Bowls Club