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Minehead Cricket Club pavilion work underway
WORK on a long-awaited project to build a pavilion at Minehead Cricket Club started this week.
Fundraising has been ongoing for 15 months but a recent grant of £180,000 from the England and Wales Cricket Board in partnership with Sport England has meant building can finally start.
The club was established in 1865, but its future has been hanging in the balance after its ground had to be relocated and it was left without a pavilion.
After 70 meetings about planning and funding, club chairman David Lethaby and trustee Richard Strong gave the goahead for the new building.
Mr Strong said: “We were all delighted when the ECB and Sport England made such a substantial grant as we could not afford such a major project from our own resources.
“Their offer of support came at a crucial time and gave the club the impetus and confidence to go flat out to fund a new pavilion.
“The whole project has been a wonderful team effort through our members, vice presidents, friends, volunteers and fundraisers and contributions from local clubs, societies, authorities and other bodies.
“The club enjoys a huge amount of support in its community.”
Hundreds of people from across West Somerset play at the club, as part of three senior men’s teams, a midweek team, a women’s team and several junior teams.
Qualified coaches from the club also go into schools in the area to coach pupils as part of the curriculum.
The pavilion will feature two large changing rooms, umpires’ changing room, a social area including a bar and kitchen, showers, toilets and facilities for people with disabilities.
Bruce Cruse of the ECB said: “We are pleased to invest in this new pavilion project because the club has worked hard to support ECB development policies at junior level and also with women’s and girls’ cricket.
“The new pavilion will be a high quality facility and key to sustaining participation in grass roots cricket over the coming years, benefiting the club and the local community generally.”
The pavilion is due to be completed in mid-April, in time for the start of the 2013 season.