Work has got underway transforming Park Avenue’s cricket ground into a state-of-the-art facility for the Bradford district.
The bid to restore the ground to its former glory is a partnership between Bradford Council, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), and Yorkshire County Cricket Club.
Sport England and the ECB have chosen Bradford as one of the five cities in which to engage more with local communities.
Cricket is a sport that brings many communities together, but there is a big shortage of cricket grounds across the district, and Park Avenue was seen as a golden opportunity to revive the once popular cricket club venue and bring economical, social and health benefits to the district.
Under the collaboration, a new artificial pitch has been installed on the cricket field. The next stage involves creating a further eight all weather pitches being built on the site.
The third phase will include a new community pavilion with high quality changing facilities and a multi-purpose catering facility to accommodate up t0 250 diners. New spectator seating and the refurbishment of the turnstiles should further entice visitors to the site. There will also be additional car parking spaces created and new security fencing and CCTV installed.
Funding for the project will come from Bradford Council’s capital programme and from the ECB for this next stage.
Coun Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s portfolio holder for sport, said: “We aim to create a first class cricket ground that will hugely benefit the local community and attract top quality cricket back to Bradford.
“This a great opportunity to build on the history and tradition of this ground which Bradford people were rightly proud of, and can be again.”
If planning permission is granted for the new all weather cricket pitches and pavilion, work is expected to start in the spring on the site of the former Bradford Park Avenue football pitch, situated next to the cricket ground.
John Wright, Business Support Manager, at the English and Wales Cricket Club, said: “We are delighted that the first phase of the plans for the Park Avenue Cricket Ground has begun and for Sport England’s support for this project.
“We’re excited by the level of the demand for cricket in the local communities and we hope our investment into new non-turf pitches for the Park Avenue and four other green spaces will meet that demand and bring great benefits to the district.”