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Pavilion project

Updated design concept based on recycled shipping containers as the skeleton – September 2021

Summary

  • Current pavilion is falling apart and needs to be replaced soon if a cricket club is to remain viable on this site
  • We’ve been working on this project for ten years and have raised approximately £425,000
  • Major funders are Sport England, the London Marathon Charitable Trust and the ECB as well as generous donations from members
  • Originally, the project was to fund a cricket-only pavilion but the funds raised fell some way short of the expected £750,000 build cost. We needed significant additional capital and explored a joint venture with a children’s nursery group over the past few years.
  • The design changed to include a fantastic children’s nursery as well as a cricket pavilion, with our partners committing the remaining funding.
  • Unfortunately, we were unable to agree a satisfactory tri-party agreement between our landlord, Dulwich Estates, the nursery and ourselves.
  • This was a significant set-back having committed three years, huge efforts and costs to this solution. Feeling despondent, we put out a plea to membership in July 2021 to bolster the pavilion committee and received a fantastic response.
  • One of our junior parents submitted a new design based on shipping containers that is significantly cheaper than traditional builds and has an incredibly short build time on site.
  • We are currently working towards refining that design and submitting it for planning early in 2022.
  • We are still working on the business plan to raise additional funding and have partnered on a trial basis with Dulwich Village Football Club over the winter with a view to forming a long-term partnership. If we can agree, this may unlock Football Foundation funding.
  • We are also exploring commercial uses of the space, particularly in the therapies (for example, as a base for a physio practice) and nursery space in order to service any borrowing required to build.
  • Having agreed grants with Sport England and the London Marathon Charitable Trust – we need to keep progressing or face losing these time-limited grants.
  • We welcome further offers of donations or sponsorship to help make this dream a reality

History

It is widely recognised that the current pavilion is in a parlous state and for the past ten years, a sub-committee of the Club have been working to raise funds to renew the facility, thereby ensuring cricket remains viable on this site. This has been no easy task. Over the last few years we have managed to raise approximately £425k from generous club members, Sport England, the London Marathon Charitable Trust and The England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

Apart from the current condition of the pavilion, the other motivation for a new building is financial security and the ability to improve our cricket facilities. As an organisation, we are not-for-profit, managed by volunteers and all efforts are centred on providing cricket to as many people as possible, regardless of ability, circumstance or background.

When we started this pavilion project in 2010, the club’s financial position was very poor and being propped up by interest free, long term loans from a few members. The increase in membership across the club (particularly the juniors) along with a significant contribution from the Pines & Needles (who sell Christmas Trees on site in December) have allowed us to repay those loans and build a much-improved financial position. In that time, the building has increasingly deteriorated and we have made cost-effective fixes where we can. However, the building is long past it’s serviceable life and we are loathe to commit substantial funding to carry out remedial work which will only act as a temporary sticking plaster.

However, possibly the key element has been the selfless sacrifice of Roger Price, our Groundsman and Life Member, who has worked tirelessly on the ground as an unpaid volunteer. Roger is now in his mid-70s, and creaking joints mean that this must soon change. The cost of a replacement grounds contractor would be in the region of £20,000/year. As such, we can estimate that, in today’s terms, Roger has generously donated around £700,000 of groundwork over the 45 years that he been responsible for Streatham and then Streatham & Marlborough’s pitches. So, again, with a new expense for groundwork and a backlog of repairs to the existing building, we enter a period where the club could easily move to a very uncertain future.

Having exhausted applicable grant funding avenues and partnerships with other clubs, we were introduced (by a member) to a nursery group who were willing to provide the remaining capital funding if we were able to adapt the design to include a nursery. We believed that this type of joint venture was the best chance of getting this project completed. Though the cost of a build accommodating us both will approximately double, the nursery will fund any shortfall above the funding already raised, thereby making a considerable investment in a local amenity. We also have a provision in our existing lease to host a nursery and have used this in the past: there was a nursery operating in our building between 2001 and 2011. This type of joint venture has the support of our grant funders who see it as a template for investment in sports clubs across the country.

Despite initially having support from The Dulwich Estate (our landlord) for this venture, we were unable to agree a new lease and conditions to satisfy all three parties.

This was a significant blow. We had spent around three years pursuing this solution and the lack of agreement was devastating. It also simplified our task somewhat and strengthened our resolve. We need a new design and to find additional funding.

In July 2021, we appealed to the membership to reinvigorate the pavilion project and were overwhelmed by offers of help. We added a number of people to the Pavilion Committee, one of whom is an architect that had recently been working with Container City. Once we saw the design potential, any fears of the new build looking like an industrial shipping container faded away.

Pavilion design

The pavilion will incorporate four sets of changing rooms, officials’ facilities and disabled access in line with modern building standards as well as ECB and safeguarding requirements. The changing block (known as “St Gabriel’s”) which separates the two pitches will be removed allowing us to extend the playing area on the top pitch. The club room is relocated to allow views of both pitches. There is also the possibility of a roof terrace, subject to sufficient funding. We are open to tinkering with the design to assist with any commercial occupancy.

Using shipping containers as the skeleton is cost effective and a low embodied carbon approach due to the re-use of materials. A significant amount of the fit out occurs off site and the install period (after demolition and ground works) is extremely short. A sports hall built in Streatham took just three days to install.

Current challenges (December 2021)

This floor-plan from September 2021 shows a main club room with changing rooms on either side all facing the pitches. There is also the possibility of a roof terrace subject to funds.

We have £400,000 either in the bank or committed via grants. This is still someway short of the funds required to build the pavilion. We suspect that we could increase this to £500,000 with a combination of allocating club (current account) funds and more fundraising within the club. We also have a facility open via the ECB to borrow funds and hope to provide a business case strong enough to secure an extra £100,000. As such, we believe we could work towards £600,000, a significant sum. The build above has been costed at approximately £1,050,000 with a roof terrace and £925,000 without. We hope to refine the design to reduce costs further.

So, there is clearly a sizeable funding gap to plug. There are two main avenues to address this and we would welcome any input / interest here:

  1. We source additional grant funding. Our existing funders are the main players in this space and we have done exceptionally well to secure this funding to date. The only major funder we have been unable to access is the Football Foundation. We have recently started a trial partnership with Dulwich Village Football Club to provide year-round sport on the site. If the trial is successful and we are able to secure a long term arrangement, we may unlock Football Foundation funding.
  2. We agree a commercial partner. We believe there is significant scope for a business to operate on the site. In the main, the sports section operates during leisure time (the evenings and weekends). This leaves the facility largely unused during the working day. This may suit a physiotherapy practice, a nursery or similar who would then sub-lease the space. The income received would go towards servicing any loan.

Our funders currently remain supportive as we work through this next stage but these time-limited awards have been in place for some time now. There is a risk that their support will wane and it’s important that we keep progressing to secure their support.

Why is a cricket club important?

One of the great societal challenges in modern Britain is high levels of inactivity.

As recently as December 2021, the Committee on a National Plan for Sport and Recreation published its report calling on the Government to:

  • Ensure that local authorities to provide adequate facilities for sport and physical activity
  • Increase funding and support for organisations delivering to underrepresented groups (women and girls, disabled people, ethnic minorities, the elderly and people from less affluent backgrounds)
  • Make PE a core national curriculum subject in schools, to tackle inactivity in children
  • Encourage schools and colleges to develop closer links with local sports clubs to tackle drop-out from physical activity
  • Ensure that sports club encourage a welcoming and inclusive environment with rigorous safeguarding measures

As SMCC, we are already delivering on every one of the above priorities.

Outdoor sport facilities are in short supply and high demand in inner London. Through the club’s ongoing existence, we protect and maintain the facilities at our home ground so that future generations will continue to enjoy them. By renting pitches in multiple local parks, we also help financially support these facilities for all to use.

With over 100 female members and growing rapidly each year, we are at the forefront of the popularisation of girls’ and women’s cricket. In 2022, our number of female squads will double to four girls’ squads and two women’s squads. A number of teenage girls are now starting to play regularly in senior cricket, which is a trend we’re seeing in our boys’ section as well; this year we will have squads for every year-group up to Under 17s as well as a Development XI (teens + young adults) and most of these teens also play in senior teams.

Around 35% of our players are of ethnicities other than white, and 2-3% of our players have a disability. Our membership includes players of all ages right up to retirees, and every year we assist numerous players and parents on low incomes with our “ability to pay is not a barrier to play” policy.

A recent survey of parents suggests that we have created an extremely welcoming environment for all, but we also have robust safeguarding training and processes in place and we thoroughly investigate all reported incidences, taking swift and decisive action on the very rare occasions when it is required.

This year we expect around 150 adults and 350 children to stay active and healthy with us. With indoor training from October to April, then outdoor training, junior cricket camps and over 450 cricket matches in the summer, we estimate that we deliver over 50,000 hours of activity per year in all.

But physical activity is only one of the benefits that we provide. Sport also helps to tackle another big societal challenge – mental wellbeing.

In the words of Sport England, “There’s plenty of evidence that taking part in physical activity can have a profound and positive impact on mental wellbeing.”

SMCC helps people new to the area to make friends and become part of the community. For some members, we also provide a vital social support network in times of personal difficulty and loneliness.

We promote a “cricket is a game for everyone” message and we pro-actively support initiatives such as the LGBTQ “Rainbow Laces” campaign.

Counting families, partners and social members, we are a sporting and social hub for at least 1000 members of the local community, bringing together young and old, male and female, wealthy and disadvantaged and a huge range of religions and ethnicities.

Many of our players and parents become friends for life, and we believe that we play an essential role in bringing and binding our local community together.

How can I support?

SMCC Pavilion pledge form including gift aid declaration (.docx file) – download and print this form to make a pledge with a Gift Aid declaration. Printed forms are also available at the club. By completing the Gift Aid form, every £1 you donate will be worth an extra 28p to the club in tax rebates.

Donate by bank transfer to the segregated Pavilion Fund Account:

Account name: Streatham & Marlborough Cricket Club Pavilion Fund
Sort code: 20-80-57
Account number: 00231770

We are very happy to take donations as a standing order. For example, a donation of £100 over 12 months would be £8.33 per month (about the price of one coffee per week). Please ensure your last monthly payment is made by the end of August 2019.

Supporters contributing at least £100 will be considered to have ‘bought a brick’ and these contributors’ names will be permanently recognised on a ‘Supporters Wall’ that will take pride of place in the new pavilion.

Bricks can be bought by businesses as well as individuals. £100 to have your company name enshrined on the club wall for many years to come – an absolute bargain of an advertising opportunity for local businesses!

Bricks prices:

  • Bronze – £100
  • Silver – £250
  • Gold – £500
  • Diamond – £1000
  • Platinum £2500

These and other options can be discussed with our Chairwoman, Karen Klomp (kklomp@gmail.com). If you are unable to support financially, perhaps you can use your persuasive powers to get a local business involved in the project, help with the organisation or attend the club social events. Every little helps…!

We would very much welcome individuals or businesses who would like to part-sponsor the new pavilion or the club in general.

You can also donate by credit/debit card or PayPal by using the PayPal payment system below. Donations go directly into a segregated Pavilion Fund bank account.

How else can I help?

If you don’t feel able to make a financial contribution there are plenty of other ways you can play a part. Here are some suggestions:

  • Could you complete a sponsored event to raise some funds?
  • Do you have skills that could be used in either the fundraising or construction process?
  • Do you have contacts that could help us source cheaper building materials?
  • Could you organise or contribute to putting on an event that would raise money for the pavilion?
  • Would your employer be interested in sponsoring the club or making a donation?

These are just a few of the many things you could do to help out. If you think you could do one of the above or have your own idea of how you could contribute then please get in touch via our main club mailbox (enquiries.smcricketclub@gmail.com).

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