A brand new nursery training ground, that will give a vital boost to young people and women cricketers, is set to go ahead after a £150,000 cash injection from three North East organisations.
Durham County Cricket Club has raised the cash needed to develop a new training facility that will become a community resource for developing cricketers across the county and the region.
Collectively we have raised £100,000 to inject into the facility, which will be added to the £50,000 that the club announced it had raised thanks to a successful Crowdfunding effort last December.
Work will begin immediately on outdoor nets, which are used in practice, and it is expected that the development of a new playing field, on land adjacent to the Emirates Durham International Cricket Ground, will be underway by the summer.
The new ground, which further enhances the work done by the club through its Foundation, will become a community resource that local clubs can tap into to further the abilities of their team, allowing them to practice on a professional standard field.
Barbara Gubbins said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be supporting DCCC in its quest to make cricket an even more accessible sport for community groups – and particularly young people – in the area.
“The work the club has done through its academy for many years – and with limited resources – is testament to the passion, commitment and ability of its team, and we know what a huge difference this added capacity – thanks to increased training space – will bring to groups accessing it through the foundation and indeed the academy.”
Barbara added: “The club is a huge asset to the North East and we are proud to be able to close off such an important year for CDCF with this announcement, which will leave a lasting legacy that can be used by people in the county for many years to come.”
As well as £40,000 from CDCF, The Banks Group has donated £30,000 along with £30,000 from the Sir James Knott Trust.
Last November, bosses at DCCC announced a CrowdFunder effort to raise £50,000 that would kick off the bid to get the nursery ground developed. Scores of people from across the North East got behind the bid, and managed to raise more than their target within six weeks.
David Harker, chief executive of Durham County Cricket Club, said he is thrilled that the year was ending with news that the nursery ground has raised sufficient support to get started.
He said: “This nursery ground really will help us to change many more lives in the area, and build upon the fantastic efforts of our teams. We have a very successful programme in place at the moment that is about encouraging grassroots cricket, and engagement with young people. However, that outreach programme is limited by a real lack of playing fields in which young people can practice and hone their skills.
“And that doesn’t just apply to young people. Demands placed on local community clubs can often mean that women do not get their chance to partake in the sport, and we have seen at the club that our best female talent has had no option but to move away from the North East to pursue a career in cricket. To have a space that can be used by so many will truly transform the club’s ability to positively change lives, so we cannot thank CDCF, The Banks Group and the Sir James Knott Fund enough – for their kind support.”
More details of the scheme and how it will look, will be shared over the next few months.