6 figure investment in artificial cricket pitches in Norwich to create unprecedented opportunities for casual play

6 figure investment in artificial cricket pitches in Norwich to create unprecedented opportunities for casual playThe Norfolk Cricket Board has secured a six figure funding investment from the England & Wales Cricket Board to revolutionise the opportunities to play cricket across the Norwich area by providing nine new non-turf (or artificial) cricket pitches in seven different locations.


Seven of the nine new pitches have already been installed and the aim is to engage with a new range of participants across the city, such as business and pub teams, as well as those from South Asian communities, and women players.


Kieron Tuck, Norfolk Cricket Board’s Development Director said, “This has been a facility project of unprecedented scope and complexity for the Board and has involved significant partnership working with Active Norfolk and ECB as well as with the seven venues involved ranging from Educational establishments to Parish Councils, Local Authorities and Sports Clubs. In particular I would like to thank Active Norfolk for their support and involvement throughout the project; without it this would not have happened.”


Tuck also added, “These facilities are of the highest quality and like other modern artificial sporting surfaces have the ability to replicate turf play closely with minimal maintenance from the venue. We are excited by the potential for these pitches to be hired by anyone in the community and also that the venues will benefit from additional usage which in turn will increase their commitment to promoting cricket.


“The venues will receive a package of equipment to support their efforts in offering our great game to their communities. These nine pitches are now added to the two pitches installed at Eaton Park in 2015 and a further new pitch at Sloughbottom Park (2016), meaning that Norwich now has a superb range of easily accessed cricket pitches for casual and evening play.”


Phil Steele, the Director of UEA Sportspark said, “The UEA welcomes investment from Norfolk Cricket Board and ECB for these pitches encouraging more grass roots, casual and community cricket.  This was meant to be timed with the more extensive Colney Lane playing field development project, but to enable users from the University and also the wider community to access these new facilities early will hopefully give cricket a tremendous boost.”



Bruce Cruse, ECB Head of Participation said: “Projects like this are a key part of our plans to grow the game, get a bat and ball in more hands and ensure that cricket is a sport that is accessible for everyone.


“Having nine quality non-turf pitches available to the people of Norwich will help ensure that local communities have the opportunity to play the game in a way and a time that suits them.”



The funding was secured and sites selected using the Greater Norwich Development Partnership Playing Pitch Strategy of which cricket was fully involved. From this the NCB could select the sites strategically to meet local need. The pitches and venues are:


University of East Anglia (Colney Lane) x 2

Sprowston Recreation Ground

Thorpe St Andrew (Fitzmaurice Park)

Drayton (King George V Playing Fields)

Wymondham RFC x 2

Hethersett Playing Fields

Britannia Barracks Playing Fields


NCB will be working closely with the venues to promote usage – anyone interested in hiring a pitch should contact the venues directly. Details of contacts are listed on the NCB Website at http://www.norfolkcricket.co.uk/article.asp?id=1778


Pictured on one of the new pitches at the UEA Colney Lane are (L-R), Joe Skeet (UEA), Jenni Jordan (ECB), Kieron Tuck (NCB) and Aaron Roberts (Active Norfolk).


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