Members of the 112-year-old Bangalow Bowls Club voted on Sunday in favour of the proposed amalgamation of The Bowlo Bangalow by Sydney club management specialist Norths Collective – part of North Sydney Leagues Club.
The not-for-profit club, once a popular music venue that hosted the likes of INXS, Cold Chisel and Midnight Oil, needs an injection of capital to survive following years of financial strain worsened by the one-two punch of COVID and floods.
The amalgamation proposal had riled up a group of residents who believe the club should remain in local hands. The group had proposed a detailed alternative plan for the local bowling club and campaigned that while on face value, the Norths Collective proposal sounded good, it would result in unlimited pokies, a loss of local control and minimal sporting club support.
Club management successfully argued that the amalgamation Norths Collective, which would see the club receive a $3.5 million capital injection over the next 10 years, would provide a lifeline for the struggling business, which is in a dire financial position. The final vote was strongly in favour of the amalgamation with 289 YES votes and 192 NO votes.
The next stage in the process is a vote among the Norths Collective membership.