6 July 2016

Howzat for a revamp? Cricketers in Sheffield are set to get a new roof over their heads and ground improvements to the field as part of a major new investment programme in Graves Park.

Vital building works on the roof of Graves Park cricket pavilion and major drainage works to the ground will mark the first stage of the park’s £200,000 new improvement programme, largely funded by the recent sale of the run-down Cobnar Cottage. The programme also includes proposed improvements to play facilities, the animal farm, tennis, footpaths and planting.

Graves Park cricket pavilion, which was built in the 1960’s, has desperately needed a new roof for several years. But, due to a lack of funds, club members have had to resort to short-term fixes. The ground is also vulnerable to flooding causing match cancellations and affecting quality of play.

While the cricket club has carried out many works to the pavilion at its own expense, including the provision of a disabled public toilet for park users, there is a limit to how much money the club can raise.

Now, thanks to the sale of Cobnar Cottage, the clubhouse has a whole new roof and improvements to the playing surface will be carried out soon, giving it the potential to offer a lot more to the community.

Cllr Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for culture, parks and leisure at Sheffield City Council, said: “It’s great to announce the first development within the wider major investment programme in Graves Park. We always said that the proceeds of the sale of the unused and derelict Cobnar Cottage would go back in to improving the park.

“We are working closely with the cricket club and I’m pleased that the improvements will benefit the park and the cricket club – including junior players who, with less cancellations and better quality of play, will now be able to thrive in their sport.

“It is no secret that we as an authority are under huge budget pressures, and we are very limited in the money that we can put into our city’s much-loved parks.

“This money will improve many facilities in Graves Park including the farm, play facilities and paths – and I’m really pleased that this first improvement is now underway.”

James Eyre, Captain of Norton Woodseats Cricket Club and local resident said: “Improvements to the ground in the park are vital to our club and the new roof on the pavilion will ensure the ground remains in a good condition. The planned drainage work is desperately needed and these improvements will ensure we as a club are able to play more matches, at both senior and junior level. The Junior section at the club is thriving, they need to play as often as they can and the completion of this work will make that possible.”

The new roof at Graves Park cricket pavilion was finished just in time for the annual Y5 Kwik Cricket Festival.

Each year teams representing local schools are invited to have fun and compete in the festival, with the winners going on to represent Sheffield and potentially Yorkshire in the finals.