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Jamie Hardesty

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Durham Cricket Club launch unique £50k crowdfunding campaign

An online initiative designed to raise £50k toward the development of a community-use sport ground has got off to a flying start.

Durham County Cricket Club has launched a bid on online group-funding site Crowdfunder to raise money needed to develop a nursery facility on land close to The Emirates Durham International Cricket Ground.

The bid, known as First Class Futures, has been gaining momentum over the past week since it launched, and already more than £10k has been raised.

If reached, the £50k target will be added to corporate support totalling £100k and will allow the club to start work on a facility that can be used by young girls and boys, as well as women cricket players, from across the county and wider North East region.

David Harker, chief executive of Durham County Cricket Club, said that the early interest that Crowdfunder had enjoyed was a great boost, and he hoped that the rate of support would continue to ensure that work can go ahead of the ground’s development.

David said: “We really do believe that a nursery ground would transform the lives of young people right across the North East, giving them a fantastic playing field to use to hone their skills and grow in confidence and ability.

“Currently young people, and women in particular, can really struggle to find the space needed to practice at the sport they love.

“More than most sports, cricket relies on having a large amount of space - particularly as much of the training needed to improve involves scenario planning.

“Having a dedicated training facility so close to the current ground would create a fantastic environment from where we could further our community engagement work.

“We’re already working with more than 3,000 youngsters from as far North as Woolsington and as far south as Barnard Castle, each and every year.

“This nursery ground would be a huge step forward in allowing us to really enhance their experience.”

“We have already managed to raise more than £10k and if we are successful it will be matched by corporate support to get us off the mark with the ground’s development.

“We really do hope that people in the North East get behind our bid and help us deliver a first class future to more young people and women than ever before.”

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