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Ilminster Rec bid puts cricketers in a spin
11:30am Thursday 31st October 2013 in Somerset
ILMINSTER Cricket Club officials fear it could be bowled out by proposals for the town’s recreation ground.
They are worried that it could lead to the club losing thousands of pounds and scores of players leaving.
The two proposals under discussion are:
- Siting football facilities on Britten’s Field, along with a council workshop and some garages;
- Removing the buildings between the existing football and cricket pitches, and housing the cricket bar and social club in the Ilminster Education Foundation pavilion;
- To move the cricket club’s second ground from Britten’s Field to the Rec;
- Leaving the cricket pitches where they are, but demolishing the buildings in the middle of the Rec with new facilities at the northern end of the football pitch – the council garages and workshop would be re-sited at the northern end of Britten’s Field.
Paul Knight, chairman of Ilminster Cricket Club, which has played on the Rec for over 60 years, said it costs around £20,000 annually to run nine teams.
“Without bar profits, individual costs to play would increase considerably, membership would fall, availability of coaches would reduce and our support for youth cricket would eventually cease,” said Mr Knight.
“The club would rapidly return to the one-team club of the late 1960s.”
Mr Knight said The Shed social facility needs updating, but the club will not invest in it during the current uncertainty.
He said: “Ilminster Cricket Club would support the re-building of facilities in their current positions, leaving the other open areas unspoilt and unobstructed.
“Parking is a priority for Rec users, and surfacing the area to the south of the main football pitch will satisfy that need and provide a hard surface for the visits of the fun fair in June and October.”
Carol Goodall, chairman of Ilminster Town Council’s open spaces committee, said meetings and consultations have taken place, and people who use the Rec and Britten’s Field will have a say in any development.
A drop-in consultation at Swanmead School on Thursday, November 7, from 4pm to 8pm, will display the proposals and comments from a consultation held in June.
Carol Goodall said: “We’d encourage all residents to visit the event and look at the plans themselves.
“The landscape consultants will be there to explain their ideas and answer questions.
“We need to know what local residents think so we can make Ilminster’s open spaces fit for purpose now and for generations to come.”
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