Barnes Cricket Club and Winchmore Hill Cricket Club were two of the grassroots sports clubs present to receive their Inspired Facilities grants from Minister for Sports and Tourism Hugh Robertson and to help Sport England celebrate the success of their People Places Play scheme.
Sport England’s Inspired Facilities funding stream, part of Olympic and Paralympic legacy funding, has now awarded £16.6 million of National Lottery money to 310 projects. Today’s awards take the total of local communities supported by Inspired Facilities to over 1,000.
In Middlesex alone 14 cricket club based projects have been successful in securing funding, to a tune of over £750,000. Facility developments ranging from Pavilion refurbishments and re-builds to the upgrade, or installation, of non-turf training areas such as nets and MUGA’s will see cricketers of all ages and abilities catered for and help secure the position of cricket within communities across the county.
Middlesex CCC Chief Executive, Vinny Codrington was on hand to congratulate all successful clubs and said: “To see over £¾ million of funding come in to Middlesex cricket is incredible and reflects the vision and hard work of volunteers at clubs across our county. With the scheme still having two funding rounds to come it is hoped that even more clubs will be able to access the fund, a strong club cricket network in the county is vital and facilities play a huge part in this.”
Just some of the Middlesex clubs to already benefit from funding are Hampton Hill CC, who received £50,000 towards the rebuilding of their club house after its destruction as a result of fire, Ickenham CC, who received £50,000 towards upgrading their changing facilities and Old Elizabethans CC, who received £50,000 to build new non-turf practice facilities.
Angus Fraser, Middlesex CCC Managing Director or Cricket, who attended the event, reiterated the role that clubs, and their facilities, play in helping the county unearth the next generation of cricketers: “The standard of facilities, both on and off the field, has a big impact on the development of talented cricketers. The work being done to help improve the standard of club playing experiences is fundamental to players moving through the Middlesex Cricket player pathway, right from their first experiences at a club to representing the county at Lord’s.”
Inspired Facilities funding supports community and voluntary organisations and is a rare opportunity for clubs to apply for funding without the requirement of additional match funding. Mike Harriman from Barnes Cricket Club explained more about the application process: “The Inspired Facilities programme provides clubs with guidance on planning permission, contractors, materials and construction. This knowledge is an invaluable aid to volunteers.”
Sport England’s Chief Executive, Jennie Price, celebrated the success of the Places People Play scheme, saying: “We have had such a fantastic response from sports clubs to Inspired Facilities that we have reached our target of making 1,000 grants a year early. Demand remains strong so we will offer a further £20 million of funding over the next 15 months.”
With the sporting success of 2012 fresh in the memory Hugh Robertson, the Minister for Sport and Tourism, said: “The People Places Play programme goes from strength to strength and this £16.6 million will improve facilities at local sports clubs across the country, encouraging participation and giving people more opportunities to get involved in sport.
Find out more about the fund and one of the projects its supporting, Barnes Sports Club…
Inspired Facilities will re-open for its fourth funding round on 4th March, closing again on 29th April. Applications from both new and previously unsuccessful bidders are welcomed and further details can be found at www.sportengland.org/inspired. Clubmark accredited cricket clubs, who are affiliated to Middlesex Cricket Board, are able to get support with any potential application through their Cricket Development Officer.