Peter Wight helps Bath CC refurbishment

Bath Chronicle article.

Bath, England - The new indoor school at Bath CC is open for business following the conclusion of a major refurbishment project at North Parade.

The building looked set to be pulled down last year but a combination of factors allowed the club to completely revamp the facility and open it again for the benefit of the wider community.

Former West Indies cricketer Peter Wight first helped build the school at the back of the car park at the club’s North Parade home in 1962.

It has since been used to teach countless young cricketers over the years, including current Somerset captain Marcus Trescothick.

When Wight retired at the turn of the century, the club took full control of the facility but the cost and difficulty of maintaining such an old and outdated building proved too difficult.

It was officially closed in 2008 but Wight – now 83 – was the guest of honour at a small reopening ceremony at the weekend.

The newly-named Bath Indoor Cricket Centre offers the local community a fantastic two-lane indoor centre dedicated to cricket, and the club’s girls’ sides got first use of it last night.

Bath director of cricket Ian Shrubsole said: “It’s been many months of hard work but donkey’s years of planning. To actually bring it to fruition is fantastic.

“To have Peter there was the icing on the cake. There was a possibility that he might not be able to attend but he did and was absolutely thrilled to be there.

“Firstly it means that our own cricketers can train at the club in the winter without having to go elsewhere. That also has other benefits as they can stay together afterwards and socialise, which is a big part of the game.

“And secondly it means we can really open up and work with groups in the community, which is hugely important to us.

“The long-term aim is to have this school really at the heart of the community. There are a lot of clubs in the Bath area and many have already expressed an interest in using the school.”

The scheme has been made possible by a £50,000 grant from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities fund. Shrubsole, Rob Maggs and Mark Thorburn, alongside help from Somerset’s Andy Fairburn, were able to obtain the maximum grant from project, which is part of the Olympic Legacy scheme.

They also received a couple of sizeable donations from people connected to the club.

Shrubsole added: “We’ve had four branches of funding, with the largest coming as a grant from Inspired Facilities under Sport England and the Olympic Legacy scheme.

“We were also fortunate to receive kind donations from the Stoyle family and Pete Smith, and lastly we’ve had the funds raised by the club.

“We are extremely grateful to all those who have helped us to finance this project.”

First Published In The Bath Chronicle.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 03:29