The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has today announced a £25million increase to its Infrastructure Fund for First-Class Counties (FCCs) over the next five years.
This is in addition to the £50million of FCC infrastructure funding that ECB pledged earlier this year when launching its strategy for 2020-24: Inspiring Generations.
ECB’s Infrastructure Fund, now totalling £75milllion, will go directly towards helping the FCCs further maintain and improve facilities and operations, develop sustainable business plans and boost the in-venue experience for fans across all competitions.
The funding will also help the FCCs maintain the new venue standards that were recently introduced by the ECB Board. These standards are designed to ensure fans have a comfortable, safe and entertaining experience when attending a cricket match, across all formats.
ECB announced earlier this year that it will also provide £52million of grant funding to the recreational game specifically for clubs, urban cricket development, and women’s and girls’ cricket over the next five years.
Commenting on the announcement, ECB’s Chief Financial Officer, Scott Smith said:
“I’m delighted to announce this increase in infrastructure funding. The FCCs form the heart of cricket in England and Wales and it’s imperative that we support all the amazing work they do to provide fans, players and staff with the best facilities and experience.
“The additional funding demonstrates our commitment to partnering with the FCCs as they develop sustainable plans and work towards achieving their ambitions for their venues.”
Also commenting, Rob Andrew, CEO of Sussex County Cricket Club said:
“We’re really excited to work in partnership with ECB to further deliver top-class facilities for our fans, staff and players. We have been working on our masterplan to improve our facilities and make the ground more financially sustainable for the long term.
“It’s at venues like ours in Hove where children become inspired to pick up a bat and ball, new fans experience the excitement of live cricket and life-long supporters cheer on their local team with their friends and family.
“I’m sure I speak on behalf of all FCCs when I say that our priority is to ensure everyone visiting a cricket match thoroughly enjoys their experience. Having great facilities is big part of that and we look forward to working with ECB to further build on our offer for fans.”