George Mackay Limited is preparing for a lift in demand for its services as many competitive players prepare to comply with a requirement that their bowls have serial numbers.
The Edinburgh-based company will use a £3000 interest-free loan from Cre8te Opportunities, a community development specialist, to buy engraving equipment and fund a marketing drive.
This will include sending flyers to promote the 208-year-old business's services to 950 bowls clubs in Scotland.
Owner Ronnie Scott said with around 35,000 competition players in Scotland, the rule change could underpin the future of the business, albeit on a small scale. "This will go a long way to keeping us safe for years to come, but only on Saturdays," he said.
The 57-year-old hopes he may eventually be able to employ an apprentice and pass on the skilled trade to a new generation.
With 40 years experience in the craft of turning bowls from dense lignum vitae wood, Mr Scott was preparing to close up
shop before the latest change to the rules governing the ancient game. The serial number requirement will help the company recover some of the trade that has been lost over the years as a result of the advent of plastic bowls. The use of serial numbers helps officials ensure bowls come from matched sets that comply with size and related requirements.
Mr Scott said the introduction of plastic bowls around 30 years ago led to a massive drop in demand for wooden ones.
While George MacKay once had enough work to keep four employees busy, Mr Scott has handled the remaining production, repair and polishing work himself for some time.
He reduced the opening hours to Saturdays only following another rule change in 2008.
This meant bowls no longer had to be tested for balance, and possibly adjusted, every 10 years. Mr Scott also works in the catering sector.
Cre8te business adviser Jules Sheridan said: "Cre8te are delighted that we have been able to work with Ronnie to ensure the continuation of his business. Our aim is to build strong, sustainable communities in regeneration areas of Edinburgh and across Scotland by helping both residents and businesses to maximise their potential and contribute to their local economy."