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Lancashire Cricket Board - Hegg Opens Leading Cricket Facility
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Hegg Opens Leading Cricket Facility

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Former Lancashire Captain Warren Hegg was on hand to open a new £1.5million state-of-the-art sports hall in Ormskirk, a facility which will provide a huge boost to the future of cricket development in West Lancashire.

St Bede’s Roman Catholic High School, which will now boast the leading cricket facility, was awarded a grant from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in partnership with Sport England to build the complex.

The investment supports Sport England’s and the ECB’s national strategy 2009 – 2013 which aims to grow the number of people playing sport, sustain participation by encouraging more people to keep playing sport, and help talented sports people excel.

St. Bede’s Roman Catholic High School was identified by the Lancashire Cricket Board and by the ECB as a School of strategic and developmental importance due to their ability to contribute to the ECB’s goals to develop cricket through energising people and partnerships to deliver national goals at a local level, and to inspire people to play cricket.

The School has been awarded a grant of £650,000 towards the cost of a new multi sports hall with a particular focus on cricket development.  The total cost of this scheme was approximately £1,500,000.  Other major support funding was given by the Archdiocese of Liverpool (£415,000), Lancashire County Council Extended Services Grant (£100,000), Lancashire County Council 14-19 Capital Diploma Grant (£240,000), and Parental Contribution (£20,000).

The Schools’ Business Manager, Debbie Sutch, said: “We were delighted to work with the ECB and the Lancashire Cricket Board (LCB) in this joint venture with other funding partners in Lancashire for the benefit of our own pupils, local clubs, youth teams and development teams.  The Sports Centre was developed with cricket being the focus sport.

“In the preliminary meetings with the LCB it was recognised that there was a strategic need for a major cricket development in this area of West Lancashire and we are very pleased with this excellent new facility at the school.”

Andrew Hayhurst, the Director of the Lancashire Cricket Board, said: “We are really pleased with the partnership arrangements with the school and already 17 clubs have signed user agreements for practice and coaching.  The indoor four bay cricket area is top quality and has been developed to ECB specification.  Apart from the facility being available to clubs we will also organise County age group coaching, Coach Education Courses, squad training and there will also be an emphasis on the further development of women’s and girls’ cricket.  Apart from increased multi sport activities the School’s teams and the pupils generally will now have much more cricket development opportunities.

“We are all really grateful to the ECB and Sport England for their most generous grant and we also express gratitude and appreciation to all the other partnership funders.  We regard the grants as an investment in cricket and other sports and it is a superb facility for the long term benefit of the community.”

Sport England’s Director of Property, Charles Johnson, said: “We invest in all sports and we are pleased to be partners in this scheme with the ECB.  The quality cricket facilities will obviously help the development of cricket at the St. Bede’s Roman Catholic High School and in West Lancashire.  We are confident that the ECB’s strategic approach to investing in high quality, sustainable facilities will help cricket to attract and retain many new participants.  In this particular instance, this new facility will also provide more coaching and cricket opportunities in local clubs and in the local community.”

The £18 million of capital investment which has been awarded to cricket will be distributed to strategically identified applicants who can evidence their contribution to the games outcomes to grow and sustain current levels of participation, improve people’s experience of cricket and improve the quality and opportunity to develop talent.

Projects eligible during this period include fine turf provision, non turf provision, land purchase for cricketing purposes, indoor provision for cricketing purposes and communal changing facilities.

Bruce Cruse, the ECB’s National Funding and Facilities Manager said: “The ECB is pleased to support the partnership between St. Bede’s Roman Catholic High School and the Lancashire Cricket Board which will give a boost to grass roots sports development.  I am confident as the investment matures cricket locally will go from strength to strength and the School’s sports facilities will benefit the community generally.”

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