Celebrity guests descended on LBO land to officially open a village’s new sports facilities.
England cricket captain Alastair Cook, ex-Olympic and World medallist Kriss Akabusi, plus John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons, were welcomed to Great Brickhill on Friday, May 2.
Situated alongside the Parish Hall, the new facilities include a floodlit multi-use games area (MUGA), plus refurbished and newly floodlit tennis courts and new cricket nets for Great Brickhill tennis and cricket clubs.
The dream became a reality thanks to funding from WREN, a not-for-profit business that awards grants to community projects from funds donated by FCC Environment to the Landfill Communities Fund, the England and Wales Cricket Trust (EWCT), Aylesbury Vale Community Chest, and Great Brickhill Parish Council plus contributions from the two local sports clubs.
The £150,000 project, which has taken only 15 months from inception to completion, was devised and managed by David Bratt and Paul Murray of Great Brickhill Tennis Club along with Lee Morgan and Michael Turner of the Great Brickhill Cricket Club. together with a project team of additional members of the sports clubs and parish council.
To inaugurate the new facilities, teams of children from High Ash School, Great Brickhill took part in a five-a-side football tournament in the MUGA, while other youngsters enjoyed tennis and cricket coaching plus batting practice in the new nets.
The evening continued with a barbecue and a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Mr Bratt, chairman of the managing committee, said: “Without our funding partners and main contractors this project would not have been possible. These fantastic new facilities will enhance the local community and be enjoyed by generations of young people to come.
“The village of Great Brickhill has needed somewhere safe for our children to play football, basketball and netball for many years. The enhanced facilities for the tennis and cricket clubs will enable both clubs to continue to provide coaching, recreational and competitive sport for many children and adults in the village and surrounding area.”
All proceeds from the opening evening are to be donated to two local charities, Willen Hospice and the Henry Allen Trust.