Nottinghamshire County Council funding aimed at making a difference in the local community is set to become a big hit for members of a family-friendly West Bridgford cricket club.
After years of use, the practice nets at Ellerslie Cricket Club had become worn, and in places, unsafe for use, so replacement nets were vital.
Thanks to £7,000 from Nottinghamshire County Council’s Local Improvement Scheme (LIS) and money-raising efforts by sponsors and club members set to double this figure to reach their £14,000 target, the old, damaged nets were replaced with upgraded ones, shortly ahead of the pandemic and subsequent lockdown.
Apart from a short spell over the summer when a booking system was introduced so that members could use the new practice nets, in line with COVID safety guidelines, the new facilities have had little use.
However, with organised outdoor sports expected to be back in full swing from Monday 29 March, club members are warming up to make full use of the improved practice nets to boost their on-pitch form.
“The new nets are really great, and I can’t wait to start using them again with my teammates.
“The nets we had before got quite dangerous so having them replaced makes a big difference and everyone will be a lot more confident when batting and bowling.”
Nottinghamshire County Councillor Gordon Wheeler, who represents the West Bridgford West area said:
“There has never been a more important time to keep fit and active, which is why I gave my full backing and support to the project.
“I’m delighted that it won’t be too long before these new nets are put to good use by the members of this wonderful club, which is so well-established in the community.
“These upgraded facilities will provide a real boost and highlight how the Local improvement Scheme can make a real difference to our residents.”
Club committee member Bob Garland said:
“New practice nets are a huge asset to the club: they underpin on-field performance.
“The nets were installed following successful application to the County Council for a LIS grant, with strong support from Councillor Gordon Wheeler, and match-funded via donations from local sponsors and club members.
“The LIS grant gave the club a huge boost, without which the project would never have been possible, and for this the committee, members and parents are hugely grateful.
“Players, coaches, selectors and team managers cannot wait to see the nets in full flow again, helping provide people of all ages, gender and ability the chance to take part in cricket.
Nottinghamshire County Councillor John Handley, vice chairman of the communities and place committee, oversees the LIS scheme and said:
“This is a lovely example of how LIS funding can make a real difference for our communities .
“We have a fantastic cricketing history in our county, and by investing in local clubs like Ellerslie, we are helping secure an even brighter future”.