Wisbech Town Cricket and Hockey Club hoping to raise £400,000 towards new clubhouse project

Members of Wisbech Town Hockey Club with their mascot Crockey

Members of Wisbech Town Hockey Club with their mascot Crockey - Credit: Archant

A Wisbech sports club hopes to raise more than £400,000 to fund a new clubhouse as part of the ‘Crockey Project’.

So far Wisbech Town Cricket and Hockey Club have raised just under £200,000 to replace their existing building, which members say is “no longer fit for purpose”.

The first stage of the project has been completed, with 38 additional car parking spaces created between the rear of the pavilion and the Astroturf pitch on Harecroft Road. The group is now looking for fundraising support from the public to help towards developing a new pavilion, which would boast additional changing rooms and a larger function room and lounge bar area.

Kim Speed, who is a member of the crockey committee, said: “2017 marked a significant milestone in the club’s long history. For several years a lot of hard work has been going on behind the scenes to secure a new lease with our landlord, the National Trust, and to obtain detailed planning permission for a new pavilion with additional car parking.

“The existing building, erected in 1961, is no longer fit for purpose. The brilliant news is that in April 2017 planning was approved. The rest of the year was spent satisfying the planning conditions.

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“The club is now in a position to be able to apply for local funding and Lottery grants; applications are in the process of being submitted.

“The new pavilion will have additional changing rooms to cope with the four mens cricket and hockey sides, plus three ladies hockey teams and a growing junior section in both sports. The function room and the lounge bar area will also be larger, enabling the facility to be used for a wider variety of events.

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“In the last six years whilst working on the lease and the planning aspects, the club members have slowly been chipping away at raising the mammoth sum of £600,000 needed to complete the project.

“At the annual club draw in December, the new total was revealed to the membership of £197,215.97 - £10,000 of this in 2017 from club events.

“This fantastic figure has been a phenomenal boost to everyone. We will continue through 2018 working very hard to raise even more funds as we strive to achieve our dream.”

To help raise the cash, the committee has organised a number of events for the next 18 months. There are plans for a ‘crockey drive’, colour run, celebrity cricket match and more. The fundraising events will be listed at wtchc.co.uk

There are plans for a ladies cricket team and the club already hosts pupils from Peckover, Marshland High School and Wisbech Grammar School.

Mrs Speed added: “The new pavilion will enhance the facilities available to the local community. We want to be able to offer cricket and hockey to everyone in Wisbech and the surrounding area.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the club and it is something the members are very proud to be associated with.”

To support the Crockey Project visit wtchc.co.uk or contact Jane Peggs through the website.

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