Tottington St. John’s Cricket Club is among 148 local sports projects to secure a share of £10 million of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities fund.

Since 2011, Inspired Facilities has been helping breathe new life into tired community sports facilities and converting existing buildings into venues suitable for grassroots sport.

Inspired facilities

The money is to go towards the upwards extension of the pavilion, providing better changing facilities (with a balcony) and a third changing room so as to allow mixed gender cricket at the club. This ties in with the club’s recent confirmation that Tottington St. John’s Ladies Cricket team will be playing their home fixtures in Division 1 of the Women’s Northern League at the club next season.

Sport England Property Director, Charles Johnston, said: “The Inspired Facilities Fund has had a huge impact on grassroots sport across the country. Since 2011, we’ve invested £94 million into more than 1,800 projects to improve and refurbish sports clubs and transform non-sporting venues into vibrant community sports clubs.

“It’s great to see Tottington St. John’s join the long list of successful clubs to benefit from this fund.”

Club Development Officer, Kieran Coe, said of the award, “This is fantastic news for us! We are all really excited by the new addition of women’s cricket at the club and this now means that we will have an improved facility for when they start. It is all coming together as we have formed a satellite club at Tottington High School which coaches girls and women every Wednesday (with England international Kate Cross amongst the qualified coaches) from 4.30 pm to 6 pm. Other recent developments have been the new net facility and bowling machine.”

Local MP, David Nuttall, commented, “It is great to see Tottington St. John’s receive the support they need to keep developing their facilities for the community. I know that this award from Sport England is really important to the club and that it will enable them to grow and diversify into women’s cricket.”

Many more communities are set to benefit from the hugely popular fund with the latest round of the Inspired Facilities now open. Community and voluntary organisations, councils and schools can bid for a share of £20 million to help upgrade facilities that can be unattractive, expensive to run and difficult to maintain, and to convert existing non-sporting buildings into venues that are suitable for grassroots sport.

Applying for funding has never been easier. Based on feedback from previous applicants, the Inspired Facilities Fund is now an open programme which means projects can submit applications as soon as they are ready rather than being restricted by a specific deadline. To find out more and bid, visit www.sportengland.org/inspiredfacilities.

I Will if You Will Biffaward

Beryl Avenue, Tottington, Bury, BL8 3NF
Twitter: @TottyStJohnsCC