The Difference We Make: No Boundaries
The Coalfields Regeneration Trust & Game On Wales Sports 'Offer'
The relationship between the Coalfields Regeneration Trust and Ebbw Vale Cricket Club has stretched back a number of years, with the club not only benefiting from CRT grants, but from advice and support that has led to the club growing from strength to strength. The club, which was established in 1852, set up Ebbw Vale Cricket Limited in February 2015, a social enterprise separate to the club who developed an indoor cricket training centre- which to this day remains only one of three centres in Wales.
This business model allows the club to reinvest any profits in to developing the game of cricket locally and ensuring facilities are affordable for all including age ranges right from under nine’s, ladies teams and first and second teams. Based on a programme established in Australia, the club are also piloting the ‘All Stars’ programme which looks to raise the profile of the game to children aged five to eight.
More than just grant funding
At the club’s helm, is club secretary Nick Pepper, who has been involved in playing and coaching at the club for over forty years and has been the key link between EVCC and support from CRT. This relationship started with CRT Development Officers identifying and working with Renew Wales to investigate energy sustainability for the club through advice, training and monitoring. CRT support and advice was also provided in improving the club’s governance and financial information and with links to key partners, guidance was provided after the asset transfer process to ensure its long term sustainability.
Nick believes that the catalyst to the high standard of facilities at the club was kick started by a CRT grant for £7,000 to go towards a boiler, which opened up the centre to the wider community and made it more appealing for all. The centre has opened its doors to archery sessions with Coleg Gwent, keep fit sessions, after school activities and older person’s groups. Nick explained that the new thermostat also allows the club to be more sustainable with its energy use and heating costs. However, most importantly of all, the acquisition of the grant and continued support paved the way for further grant funding including a £55,000 English Cricket Board (ECB) grant which paid for improved lighting, specialist flooring and cricket net tension.
Club Secretary, Nick Pepper outlined ‘As a relatively new social enterprise, the advice we received from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust has been invaluable. From advice on governance to business planning, CRT were there for us and their grant was the catalyst to where we are today – providing excellent facilities that are affordable for the public.’ With a view of continuing the strong relationship with CRT, they are also exploring further asset transfers and coach education projects in conjunction with Game On Wales.