Cricketers enjoy day in the sun

Duffield cricket club grant from sport england.
Duffield cricket club grant from sport england.

Duffield Cricket Club has received a massive funding boost of over £47,000.

People of all ages in the area can look forward to decades of high-quality sport after the club secured £47,820 of National Lottery investment from Sport England’s Protecting Playing Fields fund.

It comes as even more local sports fields across the country are to be safeguarded and improved after Sport England announced a 50 per cent boost to the Olympic and Paralympic legacy fund.

The £5 million increase, made possible by strong sales of National Lottery tickets, is in response to huge demand for the programme from sports clubs and other local groups.

Sport England chairman Nick Bitel said: “The popularity of this legacy fund shows just how important good local playing fields are to grassroots sport.

“I’m delighted that even more communities will now benefit thanks to this extra lottery funding.

“But Sport England’s support for playing fields is about much more than money; every day our experts play a vital role in protecting sports provision through the planning system.”

Duffield Cricket Club will use the investment to dig up and re-lay its 80-year old pitches to provide pitches that last longer and have a consistent bounce.

Chairman of Duffield Cricket Club, Ian Hadfield, was understandably pleased with the news that the club has secured the funding boost.

He said: “We are delighted to have secured this investment, which means we can upgrade the quality of our cricket square to match the quality of our cricket and to double the amount of games we play.

“It is the cornerstone of our strategy to have an outstanding club for the 2012 Olympics legacy and to ensure we can provide even more cricket for all ages, genders and abilities at our first class facilities.”

Following a record number of bids, 76 projects across England have been successful in the fourth funding round and will share a total of £3.5 million.

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Over the four rounds, 727 pitches and nearly 2,600 acres across England have been protected and improved.

Minister for Sport, Hugh Robertson, said: “The Protecting Playing Fields fund is a key part of the legacy from London 2012 improving facilities up and down the country. Good pitches, that can be used all year round, are vital to sustain and encourage sports participation. This additional lottery investment will help increase opportunities for people to get involved in sport.”

The playing field will also be protected from developers for at least 25 years, creating an enduring benefit for sport.