Council bowled over by vision for Ellesmere cricket ground improvement plans

A scheme to transform Ellesmere's cricket club and give the town a new venue for events has taken a major step forward.

Ellesmere Cricket Club ground
Ellesmere Cricket Club ground

Club members have drawn up plans to deal with the drainage problems that can make the ground unplayable and build a new pavilion for use not only by the cricketers but by the community.

At its meeting on Monday, Ellesmere Town Council, which leases the ground to the club, praised the vision for new facilities.

It agreed to support a bid for an asset transfer of land in front of the ground, from the county to the town council, which could become a new car park.

Councillors heard a presentation by cricket club chairman James Harrison, who said that while in a beautiful setting, current facilities were ageing and insufficient to meet the demands of a growing vibrant club.

"The ground is prone to flooding which causes the club to lose a lot of playing, training and event time," he said.

"In 2021 alone we lost four senior games, thee junior training sessions, two ladies' training sessions and had to pay out over £500 in facility hire to date. In 2018/19 the club had to move almost all its fixtures to Ellesmere College and Overton at high cost and lost revenue."

"The pavilion built in the mid 70s is well maintained at our cost, however doesn’t offer the facilities required to continue the growth of the club such as a function room and ladies' changing facilties."

Mr Harrison said the club had identified a way of optimising the Birch Road Arena to build a better future and had received expressions of support from Shropshire County Cricket Board and the English Cricket board regionally.

This would a phase one scheme to level the outfield and surrounding area, installing a full draining system and creating a new cricket square.

The plan would also involved expanding to a new car park on land currently owned by Shropshire Council.

Mr Harrison said that the club had held many fundraisers in preparation for improvements and was hosting its second Sausage and Cider festival this weekend.

"We will of course also need to apply for grant funding and other sources, inlcuding ECB funding, Sport England/Lottery and section 106 funding will be sought," he said.

"For phase one we will be looking at using Entrust land fill grants, with Tudor Griffiths a part of the scheme, as well as Severn Trent grants offering up to £200K. This combined with strategic club investment and match funding we believe will allow us to achieve the completion of phase one without exhausting all grant options."

Most Read

Most Read

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News