Proposal to Take Over the Grafham Ground 

As members will be aware, Blackheath CC used the ground of Grafham & Smithbrook CC, just off the A281 south of Bramley, for various junior matches this season. Following the recent decision of Grafham & Smithbrook CC that it could not continue, weíve now been offered the opportunity to take over the Grafham ground altogether, subject to agreeing terms of a new lease with Waverley BC. Itís highly likely that the ground will otherwise fall into disuse.

The committee has looked carefully at the costs and benefits of taking this on, and weíre keen in principle to do it. Having a second home ground would enable us to take some major steps forward as a club. It would provide a permanent home for our 3rd XI in place of Urnfield and help relieve the pressure on finding grounds for all our existing junior teams. It would also provide a facility for a future menís 4th XI, our expanding girlsí section and for a womenís league team, which we are hoping to have in place by 2020. Though we project that in the first year the running costs of the ground will exceed our savings on Urnfield, as we expand our activities we expect that by the second year the net additional revenue will outweigh the additional costs.

However, the Grafham ground and pavilion are not in great shape and its facilities need a lot of expenditure to bring them up to the standards we would want. We donít have the resources to take this on without substantial grant funding.

Over the past few weeks, we have put together a detailed grant application to Sport Englandís Community Asset Fund, which is specifically aimed at projects to save and enhance community sports facilities at risk of closure. The funding we seek would be spent on:

For those interested, please follow the links to see a plan of the existing Grafham pavilion and plans showing our proposed alterations. Bryan Mulloy and his team, who of course built our existing pavilion in 2012-13, are being lined up to carry out the proposed works to the pavilion. The total cost of all the proposed improvements to the ground and pavilion and acquisition of necessary machinery, equipment and fittings is estimated in the region of £140,000. We are seeking 90% of this funding from Sport England; we expect to be able to raise the other 10% from other potential grant funders and our own fundraising activities.

For the purposes of the grant application, Sport England will expect us to demonstrate that the project has the support of our members. So, to maximise our prospects of getting the funding we need, please take a moment to answer our single question survey, which asks if you support the project in principle, and help make it possible.

Many thanks!

Nick Harrison
Chairman, Blackheath CC