PLANS to install a ten pin bowling alley into a town's leisure centre will go to cabinet next week.

Yesterday, Darlington Borough Council Leader Heather Scott announced the decision to create a five-lane bowling alley inside the Dolphin Centre in a bid to 'utilitise facilities'.

The proposed alley will be built on the first floor of the centre, next to the existing bistro and bar area.

However, the addition of the bowling lanes will mean the removal of the Dolphin Centre's squash courts.

Cllr Scott said the proposal was made following a call for more recreational areas for the town's young people.

She said: "We have been doing a consultation on the town centre development which was completed about two weeks ago.

"There has been a plea from young people for quite some time to provide ten pin bowling so obviously we took notice of that and looked into what we can do.

"The unfortunate part about it is that it's taking over the squash courts, but we have seen interest in squash deteriorating for quite some time.

"At weekends the courts are only used about 13 per cent, and during the week they are used about eight per cent.

“We have had to contact the squash players to inform them of what is happening.

"We have informed them there are alternatives where people can go and play squash, such as the Darlington Squash Club."

The plans, which will go to a cabinet meeting on December 3, include space inside the centre formerly earmarked for the relocation of Darlington's Crown Street Library.

Additional to the bowling alley there are proposals to create areas for playing pool and to extend the children's play area in future.

Cllr Scott added: "“This is part of the space that would have been utilised for the library, so the decision was made to look at the space that was available and the plans came.

"Young people do get a reputation for hanging around and there are comments that there is nothing for them to do, so hopefully this will help to fill that gap and utilise the space for facilities."

Plans for the facilities will go to cabinet on Tuesday, December 3 at 5pm at Whessoe Parish Hall.