Fleetwood Cricket & Sports Club to Receive £49,250 of Legacy Funding
Fleetwood CC is one of 97 sports projects across England to receive a share of £5.5 million of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s ‘Protected Playing Fields’ fund to improve and protect their playing fields.
Fleetwood Cricket & Sports Club will receive £49.250 of National Lottery funding to make improvements to their cricket outfield to ensure it can continue to sustain competitive and practice matches. A contribution from The Russell Haldane Trust which is to be match funded by the club along with the Lottery money ensures they can carry out all the necessary work at the end of next season. In recent years the ground has become waterlogged and the undulations have made it difficult for fielding and although some of the drains have been replaced they were at a stage where major repair work was needed. In the 2012 season they had at least 6 fixtures postponed and the last 4 weekends were all played away from home. They also had school matches and junior practice cancelled for the latter half of the season.
The latest round of funding from Sport England will help upgrade 97 projects, which are responsible for 230 sports pitches, across the country as well as protecting them for a minimum of 25 years. This brings the total number of sports pitches improved and protected by the fund to almost 1,000 – totalling 3,500 acres - since 2011.
Sport England Chair, Nick Bitel, said: “We know how valuable playing fields are to communities throughout the country, giving individuals and teams somewhere to get active and enjoy sport. This fund allows us to maintain and protect these spaces so that high quality sports pitches are available in the heart of communities.”
Paul Sherlock from Fleetwood Cricket & Sports Club said: “We are delighted that Sport England has approved funding to allow us to level and drain our cricket outfield. The preparatory work on the application started at the end of the 2012 season and with help from Ansdell Consulting means it has all be worthwhile. These improvements, along with the guarantee of protection for at least 25 years, means that this sports facility can now be enjoyed by our community for many years to come.”
Paul Bryson, Clubs & Leagues Manager for the LCB, added: "This is great news for the Club and the players of all ages, who will be playing and training on a quality outfield in the near future. It will also allow more cricket to be played even under more challenging weather conditions, thus allowing the club to generate income."
Due to the huge demand for the programme and the high quality of applications received the initial £4 million budget for the latest funding round was increased by £1.5 million, allowing more projects to benefit.
Of the 97 projects receiving funding, 33 wish to become Queen Elizabeth II Fields after agreeing to dedicate their playing field in “perpetuity”. This is thanks to a partnership with Fields in Trust (FIT) which is running the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge as part of the programme to mark the Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Helen Griffiths, Chief Executive of Fields in Trust, said: “Fields in Trust is delighted that the Protecting Playing Fields fund has raised the awareness of the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge to so many sites and led to numerous expressions of interest in being protected through the Challenge. Investment to improve spaces such as those protected through Fields in Trust and increase participation on them is always much needed and so it is fantastic to see the funding provided by Sport England.”