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Plans submitted for £1 million pavilion and multi-use hall at Belvoir Cricket Club near Grantham

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The Belvoir Cricket & Countryside Trust has submitted plans to replace the old pavilion it uses at Knipton and attach a multi-use hall behind it.

The sports and education charity hopes that the proposal will help it grow and inspire the next generation to lead healthy, active lives.

Over the past year the Trust has been working closely with Historic England and Melton Borough Council’s planning team to ensure the new facility is in keeping with its historic setting on the Belvoir Estate and the Capability Brown landscape.

The Trust has reached capacity during the summer months and wants to be able to deliver its projects all year round. The new facility will cost in the region of £1m to build.

What the new pavilion could look like (42738538)
What the new pavilion could look like (42738538)

As well as giving the charity a permanent base it will also be the new home of Belvoir Cricket Club and be made available to community groups and other sporting organisations.

Former England cricketer Darren Bicknell, who has led the Trust since its inception 11 years ago, said: “The new pavilion and hall will enable us to increase the number of primary age children and special needs youngsters who take part in our programmes from just over 3,000 to 5,000-plus per year.

“In light of the Covid-19 pandemic it has never been more important to get children learning and playing outside for their physical health and well-being.

Darren Bicknell, leader of the Belvoir Cricket & Countryside Trust (42738535)
Darren Bicknell, leader of the Belvoir Cricket & Countryside Trust (42738535)

“The new build will give us a wet weather facility, so we never have to cancel, as well as disabled facilities for our special needs visitors and wheelchair users.

“We will be able to offer a wider range of ‘forest school’ activities and have also received interest from local clubs including basketball, archery and running as well as cricket clubs for indoor nets. Other groups and community clubs will also be able to use the new facility.”

The current pavilion is in poor condition and has no disabled facilities. It has not been fit-for-purpose for many years with Portacabins utilised as additional changing rooms and Portaloos in place each summer which are a total eyesore.

Mr Bicknell said: “The new design is in keeping with the setting and will include a wider, safer entrance and appropriate landscaping.

“We very much welcomed the opportunity to work with Historic England and took on board their recommendations. We are fortunate to work in such a beautiful location and want to both protect it and allow more children to experience it.”

Andy Dann, chairman of Belvoir Cricket Club, said: “The club is 100 per cent behind the Trust and the new pavilion project. As chairman I could not be prouder to be so closely associated with this wonderful organisation which does so much for children throughout the area.

“Belvoir cricket ground, overlooking Belvoir Castle, has to be one of the most beautiful grounds in the country, sadly let down by the pavilion and added changing facilities.

“As every year goes by we add another coat of paint or a little more filler in the window frames, but we know this cannot go on for much longer. The thought of brand new facilities with an indoor training area would be amazing for the whole club and wider community.

“Sadly I am a little long in the tooth for this to benefit my playing career, but for a youngster starting out this must be a very exciting time. We already have one of the finest coaches in this part of the country associated with our club, I am hopeful the new facility will be the missing piece of the jigsaw.”

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