A TOP Foster’s Lancashire League cricket team has landed a £50,000 cash boost to develop new changing rooms at their ground.
The state of the dressing rooms at Lowerhouse, who were founder members of the league in 1892, has long been a running joke.
But club chiefs have now taken a step closer to replacing the dilapidated wooden building at the Neville Gee Recruitment ground, thanks to a grant from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities fund.
The ‘House’, whose former professionals include current Australia Test star Ryan Harris and New Zealand fast bowler Ian Butler, have enjoyed a remarkable turnaround in fortunes on the field in the last decade and won back-to-back Lancashire League titles in 2011 and 2012 and have transformed the ground with improvements including a state-of-the-art training facility.
And now they can build dressing rooms to match, thanks to the funding for their Changing our House project.
The improvements will see a complete redevelopment of the existing changing area to provide four separate changing rooms with new showering facilities, improved single level access, disabled access, a wet room facility and central heating throughout.
Lowerhouse managing director Matthew Stansfield said: “We are delighted to have secured this investment which means we can upgrade the quality of our premises to match the quality of access to sport that we are able to offer to people young and old.
“It’s paramount to the future of the club that we improve our facilities to enable us to become multi-sport and to provide access to what we offer to more diverse range of people.
“Having now secured the initial funding we want to meet with club members and other interested to parties to enable us to maximise the benefit of this project to the club and the wider local community.”
Club chairman and former skipper Stan Heaton added: “We are delighted to receive this backing from Sport England and hope that by the start of the 2015 cricket season we will have a facility that we can be very proud of.
“The work on making that happen starts now.”
Charles Johnston, Sport England property director, said: “The Inspired Facilities Fund has had a huge impact on grassroots sport across the country.
“It’s great to see Lowerhouse Cricket Club join the long list of successful clubs to benefit from this fund.”