Oxenhope cricketers get practice pitch approval

A village cricket club has got the go ahead for a “vital” project to expand its facilities, and hopes to soon net the funding needed to get it started.

Oxenhope Cricket Club is based on Hebden Bridge Road, but limited facilities mean they have to play on the same field they practice on. Home to eight teams, this means the club struggles to keep the pitch in pristine condition.

Already supported by Oxenhope Parish Council, the club has been granted permission by Bradford Council to build practice nets on a neighbouring field, part of Oxenhope Primary School and near the village community centre.

Now they need to find enough funding to complete the £30,000 project.

The club’s chairman says that the nets will make the club more sustainable for the future, and would be open for use by the school and other village groups.

Derrick Hopkinson said: “At the moment the teams have to practice on the current square. It is just not sustainable for us to do that. Especially with poor weather, it’s not good for the field.

“This will give us some fully enclosed practice nets. Sustainable facilities are vital to us, and will enable us to keep going. We have five junior teams and three senior teams. All these teams practice on our square during season time.

“We are looking at something like this costing £30,000 so we are hoping to attract some grants. We were just waiting for approval for the planning permission and now we can get going.

“Our finances are in reasonably good condition, but they won’t stretch that far, so we’ll look at what grants we can apply for. Hopefully we can start the project at the end of the current season.”

The cricket club will decide how to proceed with the expansion at its annual general meeting on February 19. The club meets at the cricket pavilion at 7.30pm, and welcomes any new members.

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