Sport England funds back ECB vision

Sport England has announced a major investment in grassroots and community cricket with confirmation of a three-year funding award to the England & Wales Cricket Board.

The ECB will receive a total of £10.7million in Lottery funding through Sport England to support the objectives contained in its Building Partnerships business plan.

The award is effective from April this year and will run through to the end of March 2009.

Roger Draper, Chief Executive of Sport England, said that the award recognised the substantial progress made by the ECB in modernising its management and governance structures and its ambitious vision for the grass roots development of the game.

“Cricket is currently on a huge high following last summer’s Ashes successes and has a fantastic opportunity to capitalise and build on unprecedented levels of public popularity," he said.

"The £10.7million we are investing in the sport over the next three years will contribute towards achieving the goals we share with the ECB of getting more people from all backgrounds involved in the game at all levels.”

David Collier - Building Partnerships launch

Welcoming the announcement, ECB Chief Executive David Collier (left) said: “The ECB warmly welcomes the three-year commitment to the funding of cricket by Sport England.

"It has been ECB’s desire for a number of years to move towards a multi-year commitment of public funding, in order that our clubs and county boards can provide sustainable programmes.

“This funding is an important start in an increased involvement and commitment from Government and the National Lottery, which cricket needs to provide facilities to sustain the long-term expansion of the game.”

A further £4.75million has already been committed by Sport England into a Community Club Development Programme (CCDP), which invests in local cricket club improvement and development projects. CCDP funding covers the financial years 2006-07 and 2007-08 and is in addition to the £10.7million announcement (1).

This confirmed investment in cricket comes on top of Sport England’s recent financial support for the Cricket Foundation’s Chance to Shine campaign, which will receive £2million up to March 2007 to help reinvigorate cricket in state schools.

More than £103million of Lottery funds have been invested in cricket since 1994, supporting over 3,000 individual projects.

These range from high-profile facilities such as the ECB National Cricket Centre in Loughborough and Hampshire County Cricket Club’s Rose Bowl stadium, through to individual club awards to improve playing and practice facilities in the community.

(1) In February 2005 Sport England announced £6,415,803 investment into cricket, with four-year in principle funding of £18,368,448. This included CCDP investment into cricket (£7.88million total; including £4.75million in 2006/7 and 2007/8). Taking into account the CCDP investment, this £10.7 million investment announced today represents a substantial increase in funding for cricket.