WORKS to build a new sports and cricket pavilion in the Malvern village of Martley are now underway.
The sports centre will expand on the existing Martley Cricket Club thanks to grants and crowdfunding.
Members of Martley village and the cricket club celebrated the beginning of the works by welcoming a guest of honour from Malvern Hills District Council.
Conservative councillor and chairman, Barbara Williams, was invited to cut the first ‘sod’ to mark the commencement of the project.
Residents in the village of Martley overwhemingly supported the idea of a new cricket and sports pavillion five years ago.
The project has now received over £100,000 in crowdfunding as well as grants from the district council.
The pavilion will provide up to date cricket and sports facilities, an expansion of the existing provision for women and girls and an increase in spectator capacity for the U15s.
It will also feature a clubroom, bar and kitchen with capacity for 300 person events and the showing of live sports.
Martley Cricket Club chairman and village council member, Stuart Watt, said: “Malvern Hills Council have been extremely supportive of our plans to build a new sports pavilion, so it only seemed fitting that long-serving local councillor Barbara should set us on our way.
“It’s a truly exciting time for the whole community.
“While the facility will primarily cater for our thriving cricket club, which welcomes over 100 children and their families in the summer, it will also provide a great deal for the whole village and surrounding areas.”
The club hopes to provide a sporting and community hub for the betterment of the village.
“We’re very proud of what we’ve been able to achieve, not just for the cricket club, but for what this pavilion means for the village and local area.”
Martley Cricket Club president Dave Bradley added: “Having been involved with our club for over 60 years, it’s come a long way from when we had a single team on a Sunday afternoon, sharing our field with a herd of cows.
“Now we have three senior men’s teams, a women’s softball team, and the biggest junior section we have ever had, with over 100 youngsters for Dynamos and All Stars on a Friday night, so clearly, we needed better facilities.
“It’s been four years in the planning, but it’s great to finally start the process.”