Planning permission is being sought for a new four-lane indoor cricket centre at Rochdale Sports Club.
Proposed indoor cricket centre (Note that the rendered image is in green, however, it is to be provided in dark blue)
Newly-established company Googlies Ltd and Rochdale Sports Club have worked together to agree a lease of unused land at the club on Bridgefold Road for the facility, a steel-framed structure with a double membrane tensile fabric covering. Changing facilities and a bar will be available within the main sports club building.
Googlies Ltd was founded in August 2020 by its three director shareholders and cricket fanatics; Simon Gauge, Ian Gilbertson and David Whittles.
Together, they have secured the private finance required to set up the indoor cricket centre, which will be heated and ventilated to ECB specifications. Inside there will be a state-of-the-art four-lane indoor facility on a £50,000 modern multi-use surface, plus a coffee shop and retail outlet selling cricket clothing and equipment.
Mr Gauge said: "The project is funded 100% by private investment and will add a superb new leisure facility to the town of Rochdale. We will aim to offer 'cricket for all' and will run the ECB All Stars and Dynamos cricket, aim to improve cricketers of all abilities, offer the opportunity for disabled cricket and place a large focus on promoting the female game that is totally under-represented in the area at the moment.
"At the elite end we will offer level 3 coaches and are in talks with Lancashire County Cricket Club to establish ourselves as a regional centre of excellence. We aim to produce both district and county team representative players and the facility will give the towns talented youngsters the opportunity to succeed at cricket that just is not available to them at the moment.
"Googlies and Rochdale Sports Club look forward to working closely together in the future to make this venture a success."
The new centre is proposed to open in late Spring 2021, and will also offer disabled cricket, children's holiday clubs and female-only coaching.
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