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Cash boost for clubs complete

The ECB and Sport England have announced that the first phase of the Government funded Community Club Development Programme for cricket has been completed, with £9.4 million being allocated to clubs throughout England.

The cash injection provides a wonderful boost for 207 of the country’s leading clubs.

The investment has been allocated by ECB and distributed to selected clubs on the strength of their junior cricket development programme, with the intention of strengthening the links between the clubs and their local communities.

To date 301 projects have been funded which fall into three categories:

  1. the upgrade of grass pitches, outfields/or grass net facilities (98 projects)
  2. the installation of artificial match/or net pitches (158 projects)
  3. the upgrade of changing and/or shower facilities (45 projects).

Peter Ackerley, ECB’s Head of Development, said: “The Community Club Development Programme Investment into our clubs has been vital to ensure that we are able to build a long-term, sustainable infrastructure for cricket clubs.

“This will ensure that we continue to produce successful England teams in future by ensuring participation, particularly, amongst young people and ensuring that the game is vibrant and strong within our cricket club communities.”

Stephen Baddeley, interim Chief Executive of Sport England, said: “Cricket is enjoying an enormous wave of public interest following last summer’s Ashes series and has a fantastic opportunity to capitalise on the highest profile it has enjoyed for decades.

“Capturing that interest at grassroots level is essential to attracting and keeping new talent in the sport, from all parts of the community.

“The provision of high quality club facilities is a major factor in achieving the goal, and Sport England is delighted with the success of the Community Club Development Programme.

“By channeling £9.4 million into improving and supporting cricket clubs across the country, this investment is playing a significant role in creating a national infrastructure of thriving clubs with modern facilities.”

The £9.4m was allocated to selected Focus Clubs, which all work towards the ECB agenda of increasing accessibility of cricket to wider sections of the community, particularly junior players.

David Leighton, the ECB’s National Development Manager for Clubs, added: “The Community Club Development Programme is an investment in cricket which is certain to pay dividends in the future.

“The scheme has enabled clubs to increase the quality and participation of young people involved in recreational cricket.”