Thame Town CC (TTCC) moved a big step closer last week to realising their dream of a new clubhouse when South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) approved a grant application for £250,000 towards the project. The application was scored highly for ‘Providing new facilities and activities’ and for ‘Community benefit.’
The plan is for Thame Hockey Club to share the building and use it during the winter as their clubhouse, whilst still playing their matches at Thame Leisure Centre. Thame Netball Club will also use the new facility. The clubhouse will also be suitable for a range of community uses. It will have function rooms available for hire on both the ground and first floors and will be equipped with kitchen, bar and office facilities.
The original planning application was approved by SODC in May this year and the club has since been busy raising the funds required to deliver the project. Construction is expected to commence in September 2017, ready for the start of the cricket season in April 2018.
With 80% of the funds needed now in place, the club met with the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) on Friday 28th to discuss the plans. Chris Whitaker (Facilities and Investment manager, ECB) said “you have done an excellent job in working through your project to reach this stage and we would like to use TTCC as a case study for other clubs to follow”.
Matt Swain, Vice Chairman, said “we are delighted with the grant approval from SODC and would like to thank Thame Town Council for their support with the application. This grant means delivering the project is now wholly achievable. We will continue to execute our fund- raising plan with both national and local organisations, but also with individuals, in order to secure the remaining funds required. We would welcome any local support for the project and have a number of schemes, including “Buy-a-Brick”, which will allow individuals or organisations to contribute to the fund-raising effort”.
“The new clubhouse will make a huge difference, not just to the members of the Cricket, Hockey and Netball clubs but to the broader community of Thame, who will be able to enjoy the facility in the heart of town, in one of the most picturesque settings that Oxfordshire has to offer. We are a charitable organisation, run by volunteers, that exists to provide excellent sports and social opportunities to the whole community – old and young, female and male. We have worked really hard over the last few years to develop the club and make it something that more and more people can enjoy. The new clubhouse is a key part of our aspirations to become one of the best clubs in Oxfordshire and it will make the club sustainable for many years to come.”
The cricket club, which currently has over 200 members (playing and social), moved to Church Meadow, in the heart of Thame, in 1975 where the ground and clubhouse were created from existing low-grade agricultural land and derelict farm buildings. The existing clubhouse has outlived its useful lifespan and whilst it has “lots of character” it is not fit-for purpose for 3 adult league teams, over 90 juniors in 5 age-group teams, a very popular Women’s section and aspirations to develop a junior Girls team starting in 2017.
The new clubhouse has been designed by local architects Holland & Green and will meet ECB technical specification for new clubhouses. It is designed in a way which is sympathetic to its beautiful surroundings, next to the Grade I listed Church and Grade II listed Dovecote.
• For more information about Thame Town Cricket Club and the Buy-a-Brick scheme, please visit :-
For more information about Thame Town Cricket Club’s clubhouse development plan, please contact Matt Swain on firstname.lastname@example.org