Hadleigh Cricket Club has every reason to look forward to the new season, with its project to extend and modernise its 50-year-old pavilion extension nearing completion.
The upgraded facility will comprise of a new changing room block — including a dedicated changing room for female players — larger club room, modern heating system, disabled access and a new bar area.
Construction on the £250,000 project began in January and building work is due to be completed by the end of April, shortly after the start of the new Marshall Hatchchick Two Counties Championship season (April 22).
Funding for the project has been received from a number of organisations, including Viridor Credits Environmental Company, the England and Wales Cricket Board, Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Council and the Playing Fields Legacy Fund.
The club has also raised over £15,000 from its ‘Brick Heroes’ Buy a Brick scheme. More than 100 members, friends of the club and businesses have sponsored a virtual brick and will see their names displayed in the new building.
The new facilities are urgently required at the club’s Friars Road ground because the club’s pavilion, built in 1965, had become outdated and unsuitable for the diversity and volume of cricket being played at the club, especially within its junior and female section.
The club has three junior girls teams, hosts school tournaments and will this year field a team for the first time in the Two Counties Ladies T20 league.
“It is a fantastic achievement to see this project progressing”, said the club’s chairman, David Mann.
“In little more than a year we have raised £250,000, which for a club of our size is quite incredible.
“We are so grateful to our funding partners, all the members and friends of the club who have bought bricks and the many local businesses who have helped the project in various ways.
“It is an exciting new era for Hadleigh Cricket Club.”
He said it is the club’s intention the new building, while providing a significant improvement for the club’s members, will be available for use by other sports clubs within the town, and be widely used as a venue by community groups all-year round.
Four years in the making, the project is not quite over yet, as Mann explained.
“It has been a long journey with many hurdles to overcome along the way and it will be great to start the new season in our new surroundings. But we still need a little more help to turn our new house into a home,” he said.
“We still need around £20,000 for new windows, doors, perimeter paving, the installation of the heating and cooling system for the clubroom and to build the new bar.
“If, for example, a local business could pledge £1,000 or materials or skills, that would make a huge difference to our chances of finishing the project in 2017.”
n Donations can be made to the club’s JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/hadleighcc-brickheroes.
Meanwhile, anyone who is interested in supporting the project can alternatively contact Mr Mann directly by email: email@example.com or by calling 07954 349379.