A MAJOR fund-raising campaign has been launched to breathe new life into a popular village sports club.
Read Cricket and Bowling Club, which opened in 1978, is in need of a makeover to its changing facilities, bowling hut and its pavilion.
Concerned members and friends of the club feel that if the “old and tired” building is not upgraded soon, it is in danger of falling behind other clubs such as Clitheroe and Whalley, and will not succeed in attracting younger members.
They are urging generous Ribble Valley people to dig deep into their pockets and pledge support by buying bronze, silver or golden bricks for either £10, £50 or £100 to bring the sports facility up to the 21st century.
Campaigner Greg Hosker said: “Our generation at Read Cricket Club was fortunate enough to be provided with facilities such as the old pavilion, tea rooms, ground and the present pavilion.
“However, it was built for an age when the cricketers were typically in their 20s and 30s and almost exclusively male. The only showers are in the gents’ toilets, the kitchen is just okay to boil water and heat pies, but not much more.
“We believe we have to encourage the young people of Read, Simonstone and the surrounding villages to play sport in a safe and friendly environment regardless of age and sex.
“We have to open the club to more of the community and all year round, and we have to encourage more people to use the club.
“The cricket club is at the heart of the community and has to be open to both boys and girls and both men and women – whether playing cricket, crown green bowls, a school sports day or the Brownies playing rounders.
“The new facility would be a separate building located where the current goundsman’s shed is. This will give us more and better changing, showering and disabled facilities, with facilities for ladies and junior members.”
He added: “The cost of all the work would be in the region of £300,000 and although we are hopeful that we can receive a good proportion of this in grants, we have still got to find £75,000.
“Buy-a-brick is a way in which people can have a real share in what we are trying to achieve to benefit the club, our children and the community for many years to come.”
Anyone wishing to pledge support can do by buying a bronze brick for £10, a silver brick for £50 or a gold brick for £100. For further information regarding the project, please email Greg at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 01282 772946.