A visionary project which will help re-home two cricket teams and boost football in the Nottingham community moved a giant step further this week – with the announcement of a £150,000 Sport England grant.

The grant is part of several funding streams which will see the development of a brand new dedicated cricket clubhouse on Victoria Embankment.

The project is the vision of the Trent Bridge Community Trust to leave a true legacy from the Ashes Test Series at Trent Bridge 2013-15. The new club house will drive the trust’s aim of bringing cricket back into the heart of the city of Nottingham.

The four partners behind the scheme are Nottingham City Council, Trent Bridge Community Trust - representing Nottinghamshire Cricket Club, & Nottinghamshire Cricket Board, city architects Maber and construction giant Willmott Dixon.

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.

“We are building a brand new dedicated cricket clubhouse to be used for cricket in the summer and junior football in the winter. At a time when we know that fewer people are playing cricket at community level, our aim was to protect the future of cricket and ensure that cricket continues to be played at Victoria Embankment for the next 100 years.”

Work is expected to start on site this month (june) on the brand new clubhouse which will create four changing rooms, toilets, showers, disability access, rooms for officials, kitchen area, and external viewing area. 

Pictured above is a Maber Architects impression of the new build. 

The build is expected to take 24 weeks with an official launch as part of the Ashes Test Match Series in early August 2015 by England and Australian players.

The total project cost is £517,000.  £388,000 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 £28,000 from Nottingham City Council. An additional £5,000 will be met by the fundraising efforts of the Trent Bridge Community Trust. 

Around £230,000 will come from the goodwill of Nottingham architects Maber which is designing the scheme and construction giant Willmott Dixon which is building it - supported by its supply chain partners.

The project has attracted massive support from other local partner organisations and supporters – 21 in all. They 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, PR and marketing agency Cartwright Communications & AR Signs. 

“Each of these partners has worked through their supply chain partners, and have extended the partnership to some 21 partners getting involved in the project. Each partner has either given their skills, services, expertise or goods free of charge or at or below cost price,” added Tracey.

“To all of these organisations, we are truly grateful as it simply wouldn’t have been possible without their industry expertise, their time - and their money.”

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.

“We will be keeping the spirit of the old building by ensuring the new one has the same shaped ‘bonnet’ roof. The decorative steel pillars from the old building will be repositioned on the new one and we will keep the old charm of the original building as part of our brief,” said Tracey.

Nick Heath, operations director at Willmott Dixon, said: “Our company is committed to Nottinghamshire through its many projects in the city and county. As a business we are also committed to provide employability and apprenticeship opportunities within the construction sector. This project will be used as Willmott Dixon’s regional Trainee Challenge Project this year, which will create a fantastic learning platform to project management, provide trade-based skills for all our 12 regional trainees.”

Steve Williams, Maber director, said: “Maber has a long and historical partnership with Trent Bridge. As a Nottingham-based architecture practice, it was important for us that we got behind the Field of Dreams project. Maber celebrates three decades in business this year – and it was an honour to support this important community initiative in 2015.”

Over the past three years, the Nottinghamshire Cricket Board & ECB have invested in three artificial cricket wickets at Victoria Embankment – with a highly successful ‘Last Man Stands’ league operating through the summer months. 16 teams have been playing in that league, and have developed a brand new cricket team called The Meadows.

“The new club house will create a unique hub club environment,” said Tracey.

Coun Dave Trimble, portfolio holder for leisure and culture, said: “The new cricket clubhouse on Victoria Embankment 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.”

Volunteers from the local community will get involved and businesses will be encouraged to support the work by volunteering their time to the project.