The former England Ashes winning duo of Simon Jones and Graeme Swann were the star attractions at the launch of a new sports pavilion in Nottingham today.
The former England players joined with Nottingham City Council and Trent Bridge representatives, local councillors, Nottingham MP Lilian Greenwood and people from the local community at the Meadows Recreation Ground to see the launch of the new pavilion which will support cricket teams in the city.
Called the Field of Dreams Project, the new clubhouse is the vision of the Trent Bridge Community Trust to leave a true legacy from the Investec Ashes Test Matches at Trent Bridge in 2013 and 2015. The new clubhouse will drive the trust’s aim of maintaining cricket’s status as the sport of choice for the city of Nottingham and the wider county.
The four partners behind the scheme are Nottingham City Council, Trent Bridge Community Trust - representing Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, & Nottinghamshire Cricket Board, city architects Maber and construction giant Willmott Dixon.
Councillor Dave Trimble, portfolio holder for leisure and culture, spoke at the launch. He said: “The new cricket clubhouse on The Meadows Recreation Ground will provide a superb resource for the local community and will encourage the continued playing of cricket by local clubs. It’s important that we offer high quality, modern facilities which are designed in keeping with the local surroundings to enable people in Nottingham to take part in and enjoy sport.”
Lisa Pursehouse, Chief Executive of Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, said: “We are extremely proud to be working alongside Nottingham City Council and our generous suppliers from the construction industry on this project; a project we firmly believe is for the greater good of cricket and for the wellbeing of the people of Nottingham.
“A future Nottinghamshire - and maybe even England cricketer - could enjoy his first experience of the game here at the Meadows, Victoria Embankment.”
Among the 300-strong crowd was representation from more than 50 local partner businesses and organisations which gave time or services at cost or free or charge – to help meet the shortfall in the cost of the build.
The total project cost is £750,000, £432,000 of this being made up grants from Sport England – along with £125,000 from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), £80,000 from WREN and £61,000 from Nottingham City Council.
An additional £5,000 will be met by the fundraising efforts of the Trent Bridge Community Trust. Nottinghamshire Cricket Board will contribute £10,000 and Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club will add £6,500 into the pot.
Around £360,000 will come from the goodwill of Nottingham architects Maber which is designing the scheme and Willmott Dixon which is building it supported by its supply chain partners.
Nick Heath, operations director at Willmott Dixon, said: “This project is being delivered through the Willmott Dixon Foundation national trainee challenge project for 2015. The fantastic initiative runs across all regions – this being the local project for the year. This will allow us to give a number of young people working with us as apprentices and trainees the opportunity to gain real, on the job experience throughout the 24 week build.
“This approach really underpins our commitment to legacy. It’s vitally important to the construction sector that we develop young people’s skills – and promote job opportunities.”
Tracey Francis of the Trent Bridge Community Trust said: “This is a hugely exciting, visionary project which will really benefit the local Nottingham community by boosting sport for all in the city.”
Local partner organisations involved in the project include: project managers Faithful & Gould, engineers Curtins, engineers Couch Perry Wilkes, Jewsons, Derry Building Services, local builders merchants Taylor Maxwell, Midland Building Products, J Wright Roofing, & AR Signs.
The original plan had been to refurbish an original pavilion at the embankment which had been in a state of disrepair for two decades. But because the pavilion was so dilapidated, and because it would not have met disability access requirements nor governing body specifications, it had to be demolished.
Tickets for Day 5 of the otherwise sold out Fourth Investec Ashes Test at Trent Bridge are still available priced at just £20. Don't miss the chance to watch the sport's most historic contest and secure your seats now.