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A destination project

Posted in NatWest CricketForce 2011

NatWest CricketForce@Sawley & Long Park Cricket Club will see the club complete a programme of facility improvements on West Park, Long Eaton which started over eight years ago – this is truly a destination moment for the club.

It was just after the turn of new millennium that the club realised its facilities were falling behind the standards expected by the modern club cricketer. The club set about a programme to update both its pavilions on West Park as well as practice and match day playing conditions.

The first task was to upgrade the mainly wooden main pavilion, which though it had A grade league status, was a maze of corridors, had poor showers, inadequate kitchen facilities and a small viewing area. A modernised and extended pavilion was designed based on the Sport England guidance model.

The external envelope of the building was re-furbished with improved insulation and better sound and impact resistant walls. The building was extended to include a viewing veranda, the floor space was reallocated to provide dressing rooms with their own showers, a better social, a modern kitchen and improved access and toilets for the disabled. The total cost of the project was £80,000.

Funding was obtained from Erewash Borough Council [£38,000] and Derbyshire Environmental Trust [£38,000] who were tasked locally to allocate funds generated by the Land Fill Credit Scheme. The grant from the council was reward for participating for many years in their summer activity programme for local youngsters where the club provided a fortnight of cricket coaching at the club for local children.

Meanwhile, The Derbyshire Environment Trust was seeking community facilities which needed up dating within a 10 miles radius of a land fill site. With the club itself contributing £4000, the new pavilion was formally opened for the beginning of season 2005.

Sawley Long Eaton Park Pavilion

The newly refurbished main pavilion - a new build would have probably cost £200,000

Of equal importance was the need to extend the small pavilion catering for our growing number of senior and junior teams. This small pavilion benefitted from an extension featuring three fully equipped dressing rooms and much needed storage space.

This facility was subject to a successful bid of £57,500 to the Community Club Development Fund [CCDF]. It provided excellent changing facilities for match umpires, our 3rd/4th XIs as well as our junior teams. The extended pavilion was opened in 2008 by Mike Turner MBE, the former chairman of Leicestershire CCC and at the time an ECB Consultant prior to the first girls match ever hosted at the club. An appropriate moment as the CCDF grant was in recognition of the increase in cricket participation the new pavilion would encourage.

Sawley Long Eaton Park Small Pavilion

Our small pavilion - became neglected as our focus of development was elsewhere

Once the pavilion projects were complete the development programme’s attention turned to improving our practice facilities. A small Award for All Lottery grant had previously enabled the club to lay a non-turf batting practice strip with protective cage, but it provided inadequate capacity for the club membership.

With the aid of grants from East Midlands Airport Community Fund, Derbyshire Community Fund and Loughborough Building Society Community Fund two batting and bowling non-turf practice pitches were laid protected by a side and roof net while a ‘super soaker’ was bought to help remove water from the playing area. The practice facility was built and made ready for use by members as part of NatWest CricketForce 2009 at a cost of £7,000.

These three projects saw the club invest over £245,000 in its facilities on West Park over a six-year period. Having already obtained funds from many agencies it proved very difficult to obtain support to refurbish the small pavilion which provided the social and scoring facilities for the CCDF funded dressing rooms opened in 2008 – enter NatWest Cricket Force 2011.

Although all the facilities of the club will enjoy improvements in some way as part of NatWest CricketForce@Sawley & Long Eaton Park 2011, such as an enlarged main pavilion patio, the focus of the project is on the small pavilion serving our 3rd/4th XI and junior teams – a new enlarged and redecorated social area, a brick balustrade to replace a rotten wooden construction, the refurbishment of an old disused dressing room for our growing female membership and an improved kitchen including brand new crockery and cutlery.

Sawley Long Eaton Park Small Pavilion

The small pavilion - left – now badly in need of some attention – enter NatWest CricketForce 2011

To complete the makeover the playing area will have two new sightscreens and a three-pitch rain cover. Overall the club expects to deliver through NatWest CricketForce £400 of value for every one of its 150 playing members.

The eight-year programme will see the club investing around £300,000 in its infrastructure which should serve the club for the next generation of members and players.