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Crucial stage for Cookham Dean Cricket Club's £600,000 pavilion project

Cookham Dean captain Ben Millar

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Cookham Dean CC president Jim Rosenthal has thanked everyone associated with the club for their efforts over what’s been a ‘truncated and bizarre’ season, but he’s now keen for them – and anyone else in the community – to get behind the club’s efforts to build a new pavilion.

The club has received planning permission for a new pavilion at the ground, but the full cost of the project is likely to be in excess of £600,000 and Rosenthal is mindful of the fact that a cricket pavilion might not be at the top of everyone’s agenda right now.

He said the club was moving into one of the most important in its 140-year history as they seek to raise the money needed to get the project off the ground and preserve the club for future generations.

In a message on the club’s website Rosenthal outlined the need to members, with the roof having leaked and mice having eaten their way through electricity cables. But, despite prudent housekeeping and fundraising efforts, more money is needed to ensure the project can go ahead as planned next season.

“A cricket pavilion is probably way down the list for everyone at the moment,” he said. “But our intention is still to start building next September. It’s now full speed ahead in terms of fundraising.

“From within the club and, obviously, from a lot of external factors as well. But, while all help would be very much appreciated, we’re mindful that a lot of people are struggling. The hard facts are that we must decide by the end of the year on whether we’re going to go next September. That’s because we’ve got to get all the tendering and builders’ stuff in line. We would have to get to a certain figure before we did that and pressed the button to say we’re going to go ahead with it. That’s where we are.

“The cost of it is £600,000 which we’ve beaten down and beaten down to keep it at that level. We’ve done exceptionally well in terms of our own funds and our fundraising efforts. We have a fundraiser working for us now and we’re looking to get to a number where we can give the project the go ahead, as it were, without affecting the club in anyway, shape or form, because it’s obviously the biggest expenditure in the club’s history.

Rosenthal has also appealed to members, and ex-members, on the club’s website, praising them for their efforts so far and asking them to respond at whatever level they feel comfortable.

“Cookham Dean Cricket Club needs your help now,” he said. “Local support from any direction would be fantastic but we must be realistic in that we have got to show ourselves how much we want it. The onus is on us to raise as much as we can.

“This is a critical time for the project. We need to be optimistic and plan ahead as we have a fantastic group of boys and girls coming through and we must keep faith with them and provide them with the best facilities we can. It will be a real community effort to get this job done and I hope you feel able to respond at whatever level is comfortable for you.”

Email Jim on jim.rosenthal@btinternet.com

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