WINTERBOURNE have been awarded a grant and an interest free loan towards their ground development project by the England and Wales Cricket Trust (EWCT).

The grant aid programme aims to finance capital projects, including renovations to improve facilities which contribute to sustaining and increasing participation. Winterbourne was identified by the Gloucestershire Cricket Board and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) as a club of strategic and developmental importance because of the strength of their junior section.

The club has been awarded a grant of £40,000 and a £20,000 interest free loan towards the cost of their new pavilion.

Winterbourne secretary Liz Bracey said: “We were truly delighted when we were awarded the grant and loan because we are building the pavilion on a self-help basis. “Our members with expertise and the club volunteers are giving their time to build the new pavilion which will greatly enhance our cricket and social facilities. “There will be two new changing rooms, toilets and showers, kitchen, lounge area and facilities for people with disabilities.”

“In recent years the club’s activities have expanded and we have two separate playing areas and we field five senior teams, six junior league teams and we have over 100 junior cricketers at the club. “In addition we also provide after school hours coaching for St. Michael’s C of E primary school. The ground is also used to stage a local primary school’s Kwik cricket competition.”

“The club has achieved ECB Clubmark and Focus Club status which enabled us to apply for the grant and we are really pleased that the ECB has recognised the work we do at junior level. “Naturally, we are extremely grateful to the England and Wales Cricket Trust for their most generous financial support and we also acknowledge with gratitude the magnificent fundraising efforts of our members and supporters. However, we are still fundraising.”

“We regard the grant and the new pavilion as an investment in cricket at the club for the long term future – and for the benefit of the local community.”

EWCT trustee, Brian Havill, said: “The England and Wales Cricket Board recommended that Winterbourne Cricket Club should receive a grant award because developing a project such as this requires time, organisation and commitment and these are qualities the club has shown in the development process. We are confident that this new facility will enable the club to look forward to the future with confidence and the development of local cricket in the community will go from strength to strength.”

ECB national funding and facilities manager Bruce Cruse said: “Investing in worthy projects like this one allows cricket clubs to make their facilities as welcoming and accessible as possible to members, players and spectators. Having high quality cricket facilities accessible to the community will be key to sustaining participation in grassroots cricket over the coming years.”