Woodsetts Cricket Club have secured a share of a £5.5 million, in order to purchase Shireoaks Cricket Ground and build for the future.
The club is one of 97 sports projects to benefit from National Lottery funding, through Sport England’s ‘Protected Playing Fields’ scheme.
Woodsetts first team, seconds and junior cricketers currently ply their trade at Shireoaks, and once they buy it they hope to increase community involvement in the sport.
Their aim is to triple their numbers over three years.
Shireoaks Cricket Club will also return to the site, and the two clubs will work together to develop cricket in the community.
Ownership of the ground will allow Woodsetts to improve their financial standing by hosting events, gathering sponsorship and hiring out facilities.
Mark Shevill from Woodsetts Cricket Club said cricket in the community would be boosted for the long term.
“We are delighted that Sport England has approved funding to allow us to pursue our ambition of purchasing such a treasure of a cricket ground. “
“This funding , along with the guarantee of protection for at least 25 years, goes a long way to meaning that this sports facility can soon be enjoyed by our community for many years to come.”
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.
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.”
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.”
Woodsetts are looking to grow their club.
If you would like to be involved, whether that be playing as a junior or senior, or volunteering or if you are interested in sponsorship, email Mark.Shevill@Woodsetts.cc.