ECB grant boost for Holford Drive sports hub

By on 20/02/2012 in News

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in partnership with Sport England is pleased to announce a grant award to Birmingham City Council for the development of cricket facilities at the Holford Drive Playing Fields.

The investment supports Sport England's and the ECB's national strategy 2009 - 2013 which aims to grow the number of people playing sport, sustain participation by encouraging more people to keep playing sport, and help talented sports people excel.

Holford Drive Playing Fields were identified by the Warwickshire Cricket Board and by the ECB as a site of strategic and developmental importance which will help to contribute to the ECB's goal to develop cricket and to encourage more people to play sport.

The Birmingham City Council has been awarded a grant of £22,251 towards the cost of a new cricket square which will be part of the council's proposal to develop a multi sports facility on the Holford Drive Playing Fields.  This ambitious project will embrace 4 new football pitches, 4 floodlit tennis courts, 2 new floodlit multi use games areas, 2 synthetic practice cricket pitches, a new pavilion which will contain 6 changing rooms, a boxing hall, a viewing area and car park.  It is hoped that apart from the England and Wales Cricket Board, other Governing Bodies of Sport will also contribute towards the cost of the scheme.

John Huband, the Regional Funding and Facilities Manager for the England and Wales Cricket Board, said “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Birmingham City Council in the development of this major sporting hub in the City.  The new cricket square will provide good pitches for the further development of park cricket and we are pleased to invest in this worthy project to give a boost to cricket development in this area.”

The Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture, Councillor Martin Mullaney said “In this Olympic year the spotlight will be on sport more than ever before and we are grateful to the ECB for giving their support in the development of our 'Sporting Hub' Project.  This initiative focuses on the importance of sporting activities and organisations at grass roots level and by working with community groups we hope to reshape community sports provision in Birmingham.”

Lincoln Moses, MBE, the Chairman of the Holford Drive Community Sports Hub, said “We are pleased to hear of this grant from the ECB and we are all very excited about the potential for such a major multi sports scheme being available for the local community.  Football is already played on the playing field and is the home ground for the Continental Star Football Club.  When the new cricket pitches are available for use, we propose to form the Continental Start Cricket team to attract local young cricketers to maximise the use of the facilities and, in due course, we also hope to have two synthetic practice cricket pitches.”

Sport England's Director of Property, Charles Johnson, said: “The improved cricket square at the Holford Drive Playing Fields will be welcomed by park cricketers and we hope that the proposed development of this multi sport facility will attract more people to play sport.   We are confident that the ECB's strategic approach to investing in high-quality, sustainable facilities will create more opportunities to develop sporting talent”

Ends

For further information, contact Birmingham City Council Press Officer, Geoff Coleman on 0121 303 3501 or Mike Turner, MBE(ECB) on 0116 283 1615.

Notes to editors

Sport England's current strategy commits them to deliver through National Governing Bodies of Sport on a series of demanding targets by 2012/2013:

  • One million more people doing more sport
  • A 25% reduction in the number of 16 - 18 year olds who drop out of 5 key sports
  • Improved talent development systems in at least 25 sports
  • A measurable increase in people's satisfaction with their experience of sport - the first time the organisation has had such a qualitative target
  • A major contribution to the delivery of the five hour offer for children and young people.

The England and Wales Cricket Board is one of forty six sports to receive investment via Sport England over the next four years, twenty three of which have directly received capital investment.

The capital funding is provided by HM Exchequer through the Department of Culture, Media and Sport through Sport England in partnership with the England and Wales Cricket Board.

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