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ECB secures major investment programme for grassroots cricket

David Collier

David Collier said: "This agreement is fantastic news"

The England and Wales Cricket Board today agreed a four-year whole sport funding plan with Sport England for the development of grassroots cricket.

The grant award of £37.8million is for the period 2009 to 2013 and covers both capital and revenue expenditure plans. It will be invested in projects that grow participation; sustain involvement; increase the satisfaction levels of participants; and creates pathways for excellence from the playground to Test Arena.

The plan will also see the ECB continue its focus on improving opportunities for women, girls and disabled players to participate in cricket.

David Collier, chief executive of the ECB, said: "This agreement is fantastic news for cricket and will enable us to continue our work to increase opportunities for people to take part in our sport.

"The ECB has been awarded the largest grant of any national governing body, which demonstrates the confidence that Sport England has in our ability to deliver grassroots programmes.

"I would like to thank everyone in cricket, from the thousands who volunteer at local clubs through to our development team, who have helped to helped us to build partnerships in community cricket.

"Sport England will also be bringing forward further lottery funding opportunities based on potential priority policy themes such as increasing participation by women and girls, improving school-club links and building sustainable community sports clubs.

Chance To Shine Festival

The Sport England funding will boost the ECB's Chance to shine initiative

"Cricket has a major contribution to make in this area and we will be working with Sport England to secure further funding for projects that not only increase participation in cricket but address wider policy objectives such as improving health and building social inclusion.

"I can also announce that the ECB has determined that a significant portion of the Whole Sport Plan funding will be directed toward the Cricket Foundation’s Chance to shine initiative.

"This award, alongside agreement we have reached with Minister for Sport Gerry Sutcliffe about future funding arrangements, mean that Chance to shine’s £20m four-year investment programme funded jointly by the private and public sector can move ahead.”

Wasim Khan, newly appointed chief executive of the Cricket Foundation, said: "We’re delighted that the Government continues to acknowledge the positive effect Chance to shine is having on communities nationwide.

"This year over 300,000 young people at primary and secondary schools across the country will benefit from our programme, which uses cricket to teach children key life skills.”

Sport England’s chief executive Jennie Price said: “Sport England has worked hard to ensure that our half a billion pound investment in grassroots sport delivers value for money, and most importantly, results.

"We believe that our partnership approach will build the firm foundations of a world-leading community sport system."