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Woodbank Cricket Club bowled over by almost £90,000 windfall

Junior players Jack Boulton and Joey Brookfield, committee members Jenny Brookfield and Wayne Jackson and senior player Olivia Kay where the new members' lounge will be built.

Woodbank Cricket Club is celebrating after receiving a cash windfall to transform its clubhouse.

The Brandlesholme club has been awarded a grant of almost £90,000 to extend the building so it can cater for even more people. 

The cash, awarded by Valencia Communities Fund through the Landfill Communities Fund, will enable the Stafford Street club to become even more of a community hub, creating extra space for members and the public to meet. 

Building work on the new members’ lounge and disabled toilet facilities will begin this year.

The thriving club, which caters for more than 130 members, has nine competitive cricket teams, with players aged eight to 60-plus.

Plans for a new room have been several years in the making and will see the existing clubhouse extended to meet Woodbank’s changing rooms building. 

Club chairman Martyn Ward was delighted that the club’s application was successful. 

He said: “I was really pleased to be able to announce to our fantastic players and supporters that our plans for a new members’ lounge can now go ahead thanks to Valencia Communities Fund. 

“We have an amazing community here at Woodbank and this is a reward for everyone’s hard work, both on and off the pitch, over the last few years. The members’ lounge will provide additional space for players and supporters to relax and have a drink during busy periods at the club, but we’ll also be hoping that local groups will make use of the space for meetings or classes. 

“We’re at the heart of the Brandlesholme community and we really want our neighbours to know they’re welcome to use our facilities and share in what we’re building here.” 

The club, which is already used by groups including a rounders team, drama group and schools, hosts its own events including a bonfire, Christmas gatherings and fundraisers, as well as being available for hire for private events. 

Hire of the club has always been kept to a low cost to enable many people to make use of the facilities and this will continue. Anyone who becomes a social member will also be able to take advantage of the new space, as well as receiving discounted prices at the bar. 

Martyn thanked those who sent letters in support of the application, which included: Bury Hospice, Our Lady of Lourdes RC Primary School, Studio 82 rounders team, All Saints Amateur Dramatic Society, James Daly MP and Elton ward councillors Charlotte Morris and Jack Rydeheard. 

A number of environmental measures have been planned as part of the extension, including a system to collect rainwater from the roof to water the ground. It will be business as usual at the club while work is ongoing. 

Martyn added: “When we welcomed a representative from Valencia Communities Fund to the club, he was really impressed with the fundraising and hard work that has gone on at Woodbank to make sure the club is self-sufficient. That’s a testament to the amazing people we have at the club and I’d like to thank everyone involved in bringing this grant application to a successful outcome.” 

Woodbank is currently preparing for the new season and welcoming any new players who would like to attend senior indoor training, which starts on Thursday, February 8, 7-8pm at PA Cricket Centre, Britannia Mill, Bury. 

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