Double celebration at Woolpit Cricket Club on Sunday

The new pavilion at Woolpit Cricket Club

The new pavilion at Woolpit Cricket Club - Credit: Archant

Sunday will be a day of double celebration for Woolpit Cricket Club.

The club will not only be officially opening the extension to their pavilion but also hosting a Minor Counties match for the first time.

Suffolk face Bedfordshire in a one-day Unicorns Trophy fixture at Rectory Lane, starting at 11am, half-an-hour after ex-England batsman and now Sky broadcaster Nick Knight opens the extension.

It is the second time that the pavilion, originally built around 30 years ago, has been extended, after being enlarged in 2006.

The new extension has doubled the size of the pavilion and houses two changing rooms with showers and toilets. The kitchen area and the social area have also been enlarged.

One of the old changing rooms has been converted into improved ladies’ facilities and extra storage area, while the disabled access and toilets have been revamped.

Work on the extension, which has cost £152,000, started in October and was finished for the start of this season.

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The cost has been met through £75,000 Lottery funding via Sport England, £25,000 from Mid Suffolk District Council, £12,000 from Section 106 community funding and £5,000 from Suffolk County Council.

The club have raised £15,000 and the remaining £20,000 has been covered by an interest-free loan from the England & Wales Cricket Board.

Club captain Tim Parker said: “The success of the club on the field has not been matched by the facilities we had off it.

“We have always had a buoyant Junior Section and needed to identify places for them to play which we have done by now running a 4th XI side on a Saturday.

“As a club we have focused on the local community and whole families, so the impact of being relegated from the East Anglian Premier League has not been as dramatic at it may have been for other clubs who are not so well structured.”

“We are looking forward to our first official Minor Counties match. Our progress has been noted by the county, but until this season we have not had the facilities to host a full county fixture.”

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