Sporting facilities in line for upgrades

Tillside Cricket Club
Tillside Cricket Club

Hundreds of thousands of pounds are being spent on upgrading sports facilities in north Northumberland, to further encourage grass-roots participation and bring communities together.

Cricket, football, rugby and golf are all set to benefit from major work which is either underway or planned in a number of towns and villages, including Alnwick and Amble.

Tillside Cricket Club has submitted a planning application to redevelop its pavilion, including new changing facilities with showers/toilets for players, umpires and disabled people.

The scheme, which will cost around £150,000, has funding support from the likes of the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) and LEADER.

Stephen Nutt, from the club, said: “We are very much a club of our community and we want to have a facility that serves the community as a whole and works for children and adults, players and spectators, men and women, and able and disabled users.”

In Alnwick, the cricket club has secured funding from the Sir James Knott Trust, The Community Foundation and Awards for All, to give the pavilion a face-lift, with a refurbishment of the bar area. There are also plans for a new-look entrance to the facility.

Club representative Lynn Roxburgh, said: “We realised that we were behind the times and it was time for an upgrade.

“We also want to encourage more community use at the facility and at the ground.”

The plans will be on show on February 7, at a meeting at the clubhouse from 7pm. New trustees/a president are also due to be appointed.

Alnmouth and Lesbury Cricket Club has been given the nod to build bigger/more modern changing rooms, toilets and scoring facilities at its ground.

The scheme, costing in the region of £150,000, is waiting for final written confirmation of a grant from the ECB .

Mitford Cricket Club is to receive a £50,000 National Lottery grant through Sport England’s Inspired Facilities Fund to help rebuild the current pavilion, including new changing rooms and kitchen facilities.

Alnmouth Village Golf Club has secured the same amount from the fund to upgrade its irrigation system.

Work is well underway at Alnwick Rugby Club on redevelopment plans which include new changing rooms and a gym.

The funds raised currently stand at £99,000, edging ever closer to the £110,000 target – which increased because of flooding at the site last year.

The new-look pavilion at Amble Welfare is expected to be ready by the end of February.

Amble Development Trust secured a £25,000 grant from Sport England, while Amble Town Council put £2,000 towards the venture, to fit new doors/windows, as well as a new kitchen, heating system and redecoration.

Julia Aston, from the trust, said: “The pavilion has deteriorated significantly over the last few years – the windows were literally falling out and the heating system was expensive to run.”

A number of the town’s football clubs use it, but it is hoped the refurb will attract other groups too.