Community Rights and Sport – Cricket

Posted on the 7th September 2016

Following on from National Cricket Week 2016, where charities such as Chance to Shine do such excellent work to encourage schools and communities to get involved in cricket, people with a love of the game are using Community Rights to ensure that their sporting facilities from pavilions to pitches remain available for all to use in the future.

Winning the toss

All sports make claims about what makes them unique, the pleasure and fun of getting involved, the challenge of competition and the pursuit of excellence. And there are numerous examples of how sport provides opportunities to break down barriers across groups and ages through the love and appreciation of a game, as well as the unique intricacies about what makes it exciting. This is how the love of a sport is passed on from one generation to next.

Few sports have as a strong a claim to all of these things than the game of cricket. A game that has deep roots in both urban and rural settings; played by amateurs in villages and in non-professional leagues as well as professionally at county and international level.

However, any sport which wants to have a strong future needs to have a vision – a pathway for retaining participants so that those who get involved at a junior level have access to facilities and quality squares to continue to play, compete and excel in the future.

While bodies such as the England and Wales Cricket Board undertake a huge amount of work to promote and grow the game, communities are also rising to the challenge.

Communities in control

In Liverpool, Aigburth Cricket Club used the Community Rights introduced through the Localism Act 2011, to ensure their cricket club was recognised by the community as an Asset of Community Value.

The scheme allows local people to nominate buildings or land which furthers the social well-being of the community to be nominated to their local council as an Asset of Community Value. If the council agrees to do this it is placed on an Assets of Community Value list for five years.

If the asset becomes available for sale, the group who nominated it will be notified by their council, and can pause the sale for up to six months to prepare a bid to buy it, and take it into community ownership.

Aigburth Cricket Club

Paula Tasker-Lynch, chairman of Aigburth Cricket Club takes up the story.

“Nominating the facility was a joint effort by a number of people at the club including club secretary Peter Pearcey and president Brain Delaney.”

While cricket is the principal use of the club Paula added:

“It was important to us as a committee that the other clubs such as the bowls club and the chess and crib societies who use the clubhouse would also continue to have use of their facilities, and this was an important aspect of our nomination application.”

Home advantage

Working with Liverpool City Council to ensure that they have the necessary information to make a decision the club was listed by the council in 2014.

Paula Tasker-Lynch explained “that while the process was challenging and time consuming for Aigburth Cricket Club, it was worthwhile as it gave the cricket club which is the only provision in the area formal recognition in the eyes of the community and the city council as a community asset.”

Follow on

As interest in the game expands and the game itself innovates with successful new formats such twenty20 cricket, communities continue to nominate their cricket facilities as Assets of Communities Value.

If you are interested protecting your facilities, then see below for further help and support.

Further information

Read more posts...

Collaboration is key to address community equality

As we enter Communities Week, I have been reflecting on the speed at which the world around us is changing. It feels that the word ‘unprecedented’ is used frequently to describe the pace of change;...

Posted 12 Sep 2019

Andy Melia smiling at the camera. He is wearing a navy jacket and a blue shirt with no tie.