Howzat possible... cricket hub funding bid rejected

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Leighton Buzzard has been stumped in its attempt to secure funding for a proposed Cricket Hub at Pages Park.

Leighton-Linslade Town Council applied to Sport England’s Inspired Facilities fund to allow the idea of a hub to become a reality.

According to Sport England, the funding application was unsuccessful due to a lack of information on the impact the hub would have on sport in the area, how participation may be encouraged, and how targets could be linked to the Sports Development Plan.

Sport England further said: “We would like to know more about how the project will be maintained and sustained in the future, for example providing a more detailed explanation of your projected costs and deficits in your Income and Expenditure Forecast, as well as providing detail on how the facility will be marketed.”

Moving forward with the Cricket Hub project was back by town councillors in March 2015 with four in favour and two against. Those against said it would result in no adult cricket facilities in Linslade as Mentmore Memorial Park would be given up for children’s cricket only.

Speaking to LBO, Allan Whatmore, the chairman of Leighton Town Cricket Club, described the funding result as “inevitably disappointing”.

Bedfordshire County Cricket Club and Leighton Linslade Town Council will reflect on the decision and discuss how to move forward and improve the application.

Mr Whatmore revealed that there were no plans currently for who else might be approached for funding, but expressed that he believed local cricket clubs should be included in the discussions.

Sport England received 624 applications to the Inspired Facilities fund, amounting to £42 million worth of requested funding. Currently, the lottery budget given by Inspired Facilities only extends to £10 million.