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Pavilion project

Design revised in 2019 with our joint venture partners, showing cricket pavilion centre and right, in front of the children’s nursery behind and extending to the left.

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 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
  • The design changed to include a fantastic children’s nursery as well as a cricket pavilion, and our partners have committed to provide the remaining funding (roughly £1,500,000) with the cricket club providing club-raised funds and grants
  • As well as being the most realistic way of securing sufficient capital, our partners will mean our current rent of £20,000/year will reduce significantly. Upkeep and investment of the common areas (e.g. car park, pathway) will be shared
  • We expect this sharing of rent to be crucial to the club’s survival. Our main groundsman, a volunteer, is in his mid-70s and we expect to need to fund a paid groundsman in the near future. Doing so will enable us to remain a sporting and social hub for the local community for many decades to come
  • In May 2020, we submitted an ambitious plan for a pavilion which would incorporate a 97-child nursery. We gained 190 comments in support (versus 19 opposing), along with the support of The Dulwich Estate (our landlord), MP Helen Hayes, Southwark Councillors Rose & Simmons, the Dulwich Society, England & Wales Cricket Board, Surrey Cricket among others.
  • We were unable to satisfactorily address questions of policy and traffic from the Planners before the application determination date and, in consultation with Southwark Planning Department, we have withdrawn this application. We will now engage in pre-planning with Southwark to better develop the principle of a nursery on site and appropriate mitigation measures.
  • This will also allow us to address and adjust our proposal in light of opposing (but constructive) comments from neighbours. In particular, the opening times will appropriately reflect a community facility, we will improve our tree provision and reduce the size of the commercial operation.
  • We expect to be in position to re-submit planning in early 2021 with a decision coming at the start of the season. A build time of approximately 32 weeks would see us opening a new pavilion for the 2022 season.
  • 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). Unfortunately, this is some way short of the circa £750k required to rebuild the pavilion as a pure cricket facility and the funding comes with a caveat that the grants are time limited.

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 believe that this type of joint venture is 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 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.

Importantly we also have support from The Dulwich Estate (our landlord) for this venture and we are in the final stages of negotiating a new lease to satisfy all three parties.

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 in the past few years) along with a significant contribution from the Christmas Forest (who occupy our car park in December) have allowed us to repay those loans and build a contingency fund of approximately £20k against major pavilion repairs, replacing essential ground equipment – or a global pandemic. In that time, the building has increasingly deteriorated with visible cracks throughout, collapsed drains and two areas out of action entirely. With a new pavilion tantalisingly in view, club finances allocated to the repair and maintenance the current facility has been cut back to the bare minimum. Temporary fixes litter the building and this is certainly not a sustainable measure.

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. Replacing Roger will add a considerable expense going forward.

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 43 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.

A new lease arrangement with the nursery and The Dulwich Estate should mean a significant reduction of our current £20k per annum rent for the ground, which would allow us to cover these additional expenses and potentially invest in the facilities further. In addition, we are very aware that the nets are in need of renewal, but that is another circa £50k investment and, for now, the pavilion takes priority.

Pavilion design

Indicative look and feel of the new building.

The building has evolved from a cricket pavilion in the initial designs into a full dual use facility. Apart from a shared entrance, both the nursery and the club will have exclusive access to our own spaces within – the nursery wrapping around the back of the building (on the tennis club side) and the main cricket club room facing Cox’s Walk / the pitches. The pavilion will also 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.

With an approximate build time of 32 weeks, we are hoping to complete the bulk of this over the winter season with a contingency of Portakabins to offer necessary facilities during the season.

Current challenges (Nov 2020)

This updated 2019 floor-plan shows how both a cricket pavilion and a children’s nursery will have their own dedicated spaces within the new facility.

In mid-September 2020, following discussions with and advice from Southwark Planning Department, we agreed to withdraw our application for a new pavilion. In its current form, Southwark Planning would not approve our application primarily due to issues regarding policy and transport. The issues relate to restrictions placed on having commercial activities (i.e. the nursery) on protected land (the club is located on Metropolitan Open Land) and the additional traffic this would create. We strongly believe that these issues can be overcome and attempted to do so in the original application. The deadline was extended twice to allow us to engage third parties to support our case. However, the timeframe for us to obtain and present this information, and for the planners to consider it, proved unrealistic.

Southwark Planning have now asked us to use their pre-planning service to allow for more substantive advice to develop the principle of a nursery on site, as well as any associated mitigation that may be required. We consider it encouraging that the planners are keen to work with us to submit a strong second application. It also allows us to reflect on our original application, adjust and improve, offer clarity where necessary and address the comments made on the planning portal, particularly those of our neighbours on late night noise and tree provision.

We are committed to listening to our neighbours’ concerns and being good neighbours. Our last planning application may have given the impression that we were seeking to have later evening opening hours, for more days of the week, but that was not in fact the case. The hours stated were the hours that the club is already licensed for. We are considering a reduction in these hours and other ways that we can mitigate noise.

Our funders and commercial partner remain supportive as we work through this next stage.

Over the next few months, we will be collating supporting documents and improving our application, in collaboration with Southwark Planning. Assuming the commercial element remains viable after pre-planning, we hope to be in a position to submit a new application by the end of 2020 or early 2021 with a (hopefully positive) decision made at the start of next season in March / April 2021. A build time of approximately 32 weeks would see us opening a new pavilion for the 2022 season.

We want to offer our gratitude at the support shown by the membership, particularly all the supportive comments on the planning portal which will support our next bid and showed such desire to keep this club going long into the future. The project is a significant undertaking and will secure the club for the next fifty years, we shouldn’t be discouraged by this short term set back.

Why is a cricket club important?

At a time when participation in cricket is in decline across the country, we are bucking the trend. Our ever growing membership means that we now often put out seven and sometimes eight men’s teams on Saturdays, two friendly sides on Sundays and a side most Wednesdays.

Our women’s squad plays on both Sundays and Wednesdays and gained 12 new members in 2020.

Our juniors has grown from 100 players in 2016 to 270 players in 2020, including over 50 girls. We are running junior league cricket in ten age-groups, including two girls’ teams, and we are now also running junior cricket camps over the summer holidays.

Cricket is a wonderful way for normally inactive people to get active and stay fit and healthy. A cricket club is also a social hub that helps people who move to a new area to make friends and become part of the community. A cricket club enhances mental health and for some members, provides a vital support network in times of personal difficulty.

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

We bring together our local community like no other organisation can. Each year we also welcome thousands more players and family members from other clubs, and we provide the facilities for many roaming and workplace teams to play friendly cricket as well.

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 Club Development Officer, 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 with our Chairman, John Greenwood (enquiries.smcricketclub@gmail.com), for further details.


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