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Upchurch cricket club one step closer to new £70,000 batting net equipment after astro turf stolen

Published Thursday 9 December, 2021
Last updated on Thursday 9 December, 2021

Cricket players will soon be able to use a brand-new batting net facility at Upchurch cricket club after the club’s previous batting nets astro turf was stolen. Thieves stole the large patch of astro turf during the first lockdown in 2020.

Swale Borough Council has now contributed £10,000 toward the cost of a modern, secure and long-lasting batting and training net facility with three lanes and all-weather access.

The new batting nets will be accessible to anybody with restricted mobility and be surrounded by impenetrable metal caging with locks and CCTV.

David Tyler, Chairman of Upchurch cricket club, said:

“We’ve been working around the clock to gather the funding we need to get the batting nets up and running again.

“It’ll cost £70,000 to install the new batting and training facility, and with this £10,000 from Swale Council, we’re one step closer to the amount we need. And this time we’ll have a metal cage with CCTV so the thieves won’t be able to target us so easily.

“We’ve raised £35,000 so far and are hoping to get all the funding we need within the next few months.

“We have more than 3,000 adults and young people that use our facilities and we hope to install the new equipment by spring next year in time for cricket season.”

Cllr Richard Palmer, cabinet member for the community, said:

“Contributing to the new, long-lasting batting and training equipment was an easy decision for us.

“We made a commitment in our core priorities to promote people’s wellbeing and enjoyment through sporting and leisure activities that are accessible to all age groups and Upchurch cricket club is a well-loved staple in Swale.

“The actions of a few irresponsible criminals should not ruin the fun, fitness and mental wellbeing provided by the club to the many age groups that use it.

“Once installed, the over 50s, over 60s, ladies, girls, boys, district, school and disability teams will be able to book their slot and play in any weather.”