Cricket club unveils plans to build new pavilion at cost of £140,000
TILLSIDE Cricket Club has unveiled ambitious plans to build a new £140,000 pavilion at its picturesque ground in Etal.
The club has submitted a planning application to demolish the existing pavilion which was constructed from panels from a second-hand chicken shed in 1981.
It has done fantastic service since then but many things have changed over the last 31 years, not least the need for improved facilities to meet league standards and modern day expectations - there isn’t even electricity in the current structure.
The proposed new pavilion includes kitchen facilities, showers for the players, a changing room for the umpires, new toilets as well as a grey water recycling provision, solar panels to help with water heating, waterless urinals, and disabled access.
The club has been fundraising for some time and is in the final efforts of a last push to get towards its £140,000 target, thanks largely to the England Cricket Board (ECB) which has indicated it will fund 70 per cent of the costs.
Club secretary Cameron McGregor, who also doubles as groundsman, said: “A new clubhouse has been badly needed for a few years now so this is a huge project for us.
“We must have improved facilities in place by 2014 to meet the standards required by the Northumberland Cricket League for our first team. It would be disastrous if we were demoted because our clubhouse wasn’t up to scratch.
“We’ve had great support from the Northumberland Cricket Board and an indication that the ECB will look favourably on our plans so it’s looking good.”
The club, founded in 1889, operates two senior teams - one in the Northumberland league and the other in the Alnwick and District League, as well as a friendly team.
It also has around 120 junior players, both boys and girls, and the club is hoping its investment will ensure youngsters keep coming through the ranks in the future.
Junior cricket co-ordinator Steve Nutt said: “The club has been here for 123 years but there is a threat to the game at this level; clubs have been disappearing regularly from both the Northumberland and Alnwick and District leagues.
“These new facilities are a way of ensuring that we have cricket in this idyllic sport for many years to come. We want the players of the next generations to have something that they can be proud of and that sits well in the community of Etal.”
The plan is to provide a timber frame, wooden clad structure in keeping with the proportions of the present pavilion and also the style.
“The location is one of the most picturesque cricket locations in the county and it is paramount that the building continues to look the part,” said Mr Nutt. “As a consequence the club has worked closely with Lord and Lady Joicey who own the land on which the club’s field lies, to come up with a design that not only provides improved facilities for players and visitors alike, but also retains the charm and its appropriate sense of place for such a wonderful location.”
The club is hoping the new pavilion will be built next year, although it is likely to be the 2014 season before the players get to use it.
Mr Nutt said: “We still have some fundraising activities to go but cannot thank enough everyone who has contributed in so many ways, not least club sponsors Iain Grieve Decorators, and The Black Bull at Etal.”
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Weather for Berwick-Upon-Tweed
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 9 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: North