The Mayor of Eastbourne has awarded £500 to a popular bowls tournament that has brought competitors to the town from across the UK for nearly a century.

Eastbourne Open Bowls Tournament first ran in 1924 and last year was the first time it was cancelled other than during the Second World War. 

With tournament plans well advanced before the 2020 cancellation due to Covid-19 restrictions, organisers were left with losses of around £1,000 but as stalwarts of Eastbourne’s bowling scene they hope to continue the event over the coming years. 

The Mayor, who is Patron, has given funding support to Eastbourne Open Bowls Tournament to help ensure the future of the event which is played every July on bowling greens across the town. 

Councillor Steve Wallis said: “This tournament plays a major part in Eastbourne’s bowling heritage and every year about half the competitors come from different parts of the country to enjoy playing competitively in our town and make new friendships. 

“Last year was tough for many of us but we hope for a brighter 2021 and I am pleased to be able to assist with the continuation of such a wonderful event that has become a fixture on the sporting calendar for bowlers.” 

Mike Taylor, who has been running the tournament for 20 years, said: “The donation by the Mayor ensures the mid-term financial future of the event. Given the current pandemic difficulties we are delighted to have received both the donation and the continuing patronage of the Mayor and borough council.”