A popular sports club has sold off some of its land in a bid to stay open and secure its future.

A portion of the outdoor bowling green at Wellworthy Sports and Social Club at Wyke Regis in Weymouth has been sold to developers after the club encountered financial difficulties.

Five homes are now set to be built on part of the land, while the remainder which the club owns is being converted into an all-weather bowling green.

Cyril Buckland, Chairman of Wellworthy Sports and Social Club, said: “There have been a lot of rumours around the town and certainly in the Wyke Regis area with regards to the Wellworthy Sports and Social Club. It’s fair to say we have had a difficult time financially, the rumours were that we would close. We have pulled ourselves together, and we are now coming through that.

“Without people using the bar your expenditure is in excess of your income.

“We were in a position where the only way we could get out of it was to sell part of the bowling green for housing to keep the club from going bust. By selling the land off we have been able to put our finances back together and we are now hoping to modernise the club and bring people in again.”

He added: “A synthetic bowling green is being put down, that’s happening now, and it should be ready by the end of April.

“Usually with the outdoor bowling green, the season runs from the beginning of April to the end of September, but now people will be able to play on Christmas Day if they want to. Synthetic grass is more durable and is less likely to wear out or be affected by the weather.”

Terry Harvey, another trustee, said: “This will be the only all-weather bowling green within 40 miles.”

The club has been open since the 1980s and has a number of function rooms as well as an indoor bowling green and a skittle alley.

Mr Buckland added: “It’s important for people to know that the club is still here. We’re trying to make it a facility for the whole community.”

The club is continuing to hold weddings and other functions.

Graham Reed, one of the club’s trustees said: “We want to quash the rumours that the club is closing. If we don’t get weddings and functions like that then we won’t survive.”

Keith Tilyard, another trustee, said: “I’d like to highlight that any bookings taken this year for next year will be guaranteed.”