Helen has facilitated a meeting between Spennymoor Cricket Club and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to help the club rebuild its pavilion. The pavilion, containing most of the club’s equipment, was destroyed in a fire in July 2018.

The meeting came about after Helen talked about the damage in Parliament during DCMS Oral Questions. The ECB were watching the session and offered to help the club.

Since the fire, the club were left without toilets, changing rooms, or catering facilities. During the meeting, the ECB offered help with funding temporary facilities to replace the pavilion in the short term. Ideas and funding sources for securing the long term future of the club were also discussed in detail.

“This is fantastic news for the club,” said Helen. “I think people see MPs raising local issues in Parliament and a lot of the time they assume nothing comes of it. But within minutes of talking about the problems the club were facing, I had a message from the ECB. There are always a lot of things happening behind the scenes after a speech is made, and I’m so glad that this has resulted in a positive outcome for Spennymoor.

“Essentially, the ECB advised us to adopt a two-stage approach and they will help with both. First, better emergency accommodation, and then a long term plan to secure the future of cricket in the town.”

Helen with Spennymoor Cricket Club Secretary, Alan Jones, and President, Cllr Ian Geldard
Helen with Spennymoor Cricket Club Secretary, Alan Jones, and President, Cllr Ian Geldard

Following the incident, site owners Spennymoor Town Council received some insurance money, however this did not cover the full cost of rebuilding. The club hope to replace the previous wooden structure with a brick building and have coordinated a community fundraising campaign. They have raised £11,000 to date.

Cllr Ian Geldard, President of Spennymoor Cricket Club said “we are grateful to Helen for supporting the club since the dreadful fire last year. Today’s meeting with the ECB which Helen set up following taking our issue to the House of Commons, was really successful. The expert advice received from the ECB has been invaluable.

“The offer of funding for a temporary solution for facilities at Spennymoor Cricket Club will ensure that our club’s immediate future is assured. The guidance and support offered to embark upon a Community Club Pavilion project is not only an exciting prospect for Spennymoor Cricket Club, but also for Spennymoor itself.”

A spokesperson for the ECB said: “We are very supportive of Spennymoor Cricket Club’s plan to rebuild the pavilion. The club has a strong history and we want to see them reaching out across the whole community to thrive in future.”

Spennymoor Cricket Club is a well-supported club, playing in the Darlington and District Cricket League. It has to playing members, including many thriving youth players. At the height of the season, over 200 people attend the ground on match day.

The club have played at the field for almost 70 years. Since the fire, they have continued to play at the ground with the support of other teams in the league.

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