Cricket Club Bowled Over with £12,000 Council Cash Boost

Published: 12th October 2022

Longridge cricket club grant
NO REST FOR THE WICKET - Ribble Valley Mayor Stuart Hirst and Longridge Cricket Club chairman Nick Gale.

There is no rest for the wicket in Longridge after a £12,000 council cash boost.

Longridge Cricket Club is bowled over after receiving the cash from Ribble Valley Borough Council for pitch improvements

The council’s community services committee gave the signal for the club to receive £12,000 in Section 106 money from the Tootle Green development in Dilworth.

The cash will be used for pitch improvements at the multi-award-winning club, which this season beat off stiff competition to win the Lancashire Cup at Old Trafford.

Longridge Cricket Club features two permanent grounds – the George Newsham Memorial and Croft Haworth Grounds in Chipping Road – and two part-time grounds in Chipping and 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.

The club’s first team plays in the ECB Northern Premier League, while the second, third and fourth teams play in the Palace Shield.

The club, which was named Lancashire County Cricket Club of the Year in 2018, also has a thriving girls’ and women’s section.

Ricky Newmark, chairman of Ribble Valley Borough 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.”

Longridge Cricket Club hosts over 165 home games a season and has four volunteer groundsmen who work throughout the year preparing and maintaining the club’s pitches, particularly the square, which is mown, marked up, repaired and drained twice a week.

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 do not pay players and every penny goes into supporting our young players with professional coaching and excellent facilities.

“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.

“We are delighted to have received this grant and every penny is appreciated and will be well-invested.”

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, which is now underway.

And 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.