Throughout the off-season ground-staff, volunteers, club members and club officials expend lots of time and energy preparing their club’s grounds and facilities for the new season.
The continuous upgrade of facilities and equipment maintains a club’s playing base, ensures more cricket can be played throughout the summer and attracts new players and members into clubs.
As part of Cricket Ireland’s 2016-2020 Strategic plan, the governing body aims to incentivise clubs to improve facilities through a ground improvement grant/subsidy scheme based on club accreditation standards.
This process provided significant grants to clubs around Ireland in 2016 and the application process for 2017 is now open.
Below are examples of the ways in which the clubs, via the provincial unions, accessed funds for various improvements and new purchases.
The eight clubs in the North West Cricket Union to receive grants were Ardmore, Ballyspallen, Bready, Bond’s Glen, Brigade, Eglinton, Fox Lodge and Strabane.
Bready, Fox Lodge and Strabane all used their grants for improved drainage, while Bond’s Glen and Eglinton sought new flat sheeting and domed pitch covers. Unfortunately these were all tested to the full during the wild summer storms in the north west of the country.
Ardmore and Brigade used their grant to secure mowers, while Ballyspallen brought artificial matting into their club on the back of their grant.
The 2017 Club Facilities Grant Fund is open now with all applications made through the Provincial Unions. The examples above show how clubs around the country spent money improving their facilities and equipment over the past year.
The grants issued can be spent in a wide variety of areas to improve or upgrade facilities within clubs. This in turn assists in the clubs in maintaining their playing base and attracting new members.
Any clubs interested in applying for funding under this grant scheme should contact their local union to find out more information on criteria, application and submission details.
The deadline for applications is October 31st, 2017.