AN East Lancashire cricket club has been given a £12,000 cash grant.

The money from Ribble Valley Council community services committee will be used by Longridge Cricket Club for pitch improvements.

It comes from Section 106 money from the Tootle Green development in Dilworth.

The club, which plays in the ECB Northern Premier League, has two permanent grounds – the George Newsham Memorial and Croft Haworth Grounds in Chipping Road – and two part-time grounds in Chipping and in Whittingham and Goosnargh.

The club runs a successful ‘All Stars’ programme for five to 8-year-olds and a ‘Dynamos’ programme for eight to 11-year-olds, as well as boys’ and girls’ teams from under-nines to under-19s that participate in the Palace Shield and Lancashire League junior leagues.

Ricky Newmark, chairman of Ribble Valley Council’s community services committee, said: “The Longridge Cricket Club is a fantastic asset, offering excellent facilities and one of the best youth systems in Lancashire.

“Good facilities and coaching are crucial to the recruitment of young players and this money will be used to keep the club’s pitch in first-class condition.”

The club’s chairman, Nick Gale, said: “A good pitch is critical to a good club and we believe in giving our junior players the best possible facilities.

“We are constantly maintaining our pitches, which requires a great deal of effort and specialist equipment.

“We won the Lancashire Cup at Old Trafford this summer, beating professional teams en route, and eight of our first team players have come through our junior ranks.

As well as the Longridge Cricket Club grant, Ribble Valley Borough Council is spending £70,000 of its own and Section 106 money on a revamp of the Kestor Lane Play area in Longridge.

The Longridge Sports Club has received £10,000 in Section 106 money, also from the Tootle Green development in Dilworth, for the resurfacing of the sports hall floor and refurbishment of two squash courts.