The future of first-class cricket matches in Scarborough has been secured following the completion of a half-million-pound upgrade to the town’s famous ground.
Scarborough Cricket Club – with support from North Yorkshire Council and the Scarborough Town Deal Board – received a £250,000 contribution from the £20 million Towns Deal fund allocated to the coastal town to carry out repairs, improvements and upgrades to its North Marine Road Ground.
Further funding was provided from the England and Wales Cricket Board and the club with further council funding bringing the total investment to £509,627.
The works saw the refurbishment of the currently derelict space under the west stand to improve the spectator experience by providing new male and female toilet facilities, a changing places facility and a faith room.
The stand also benefited from structural repairs, waterproofing and new seating to replace the old damaged wooden seating.
Improvements were also made to the north stand, provision of new disabled toilet facilities at the Trafalgar Road stand and upgrades to the WiFi internet connections and CCTV infrastructure.
The investment means the club will be able to meet new stadium standards being introduced by the England and Wales Cricket Board and continue to host Yorkshire county cricket matches as one of its outgrounds.
Yorkshire matches in Scarborough attract fans from across the country to the town with the resulting boost to the local economy, as it regularly attracts the biggest crowds for four-day county cricket anywhere in the country.
North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for open to business, Cllr Derek Bastiman, said: “Scarborough Cricket Club has been at the heart of the town for more than 150 years and this investment will ensure that it remains there for many years to come.
“Having first class cricket at one of the country’s most famous grounds is vital not just for Scarborough’s economy, but for the region’s, too.
“The crowds that come to watch the matches and the money they spend means jobs for local residents and income for our businesses. I am delighted that we were able to support its place in our community through the Towns Fund.”
Today, members of different faiths were invited to the ground to see the new multi-faith area. Other local groups were also present at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the ground’s improvements, alongside representatives of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Yorkshire County Cricket Club. The ceremony was held before the start of Yorkshire’s County Championship game against Durham.
Scarborough Cricket Club’s president, Bill Mustoe, said: “It has been a pleasure working closely with the Town Fund team, North Yorkshire Council and the ECB to continue improving the spectator experience to benefit and enhance our reputation of being the best county cricket outground in the country and an international tourist destination.”
Opened in 1863, Scarborough Cricket Club’s North Marine Road Ground is steeped in history and in 1947 more than 22,000 people came through its doors to see Yorkshire play Derbyshire, back in the days when it was known as The Queen’s Cricket Ground.
Today, it has a capacity of 9,000 and hosts the annual Scarborough Festival where Yorkshire brings its teams to the coast. The festival attracts thousands of cricket fans to the town as is one of the highlights of the county cricket schedule.
The funding for the upgrades to the ground came from Towns Fund money awarded to Scarborough by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities in 2021.
The Minister for Levelling-Up, Dehenna Davison, said: “As someone born and bred in Yorkshire, it goes without saying that I know Yorkshire is the home of cricket. So I am proud to see that Scarborough Cricket Club remains at the heart of its community just as it has been for over 150 years.
“Everyone has been bowled over by the renovations to this historic club. And I am proud, too, that the Government has been able to support this project with some of the area’s £20.2 million Town Deal that will see the club through to its double century.”
As well as improving the cricket club, the upgrades will also ensure that the ground remains at the heart of its community.
North Yorkshire councillor and Woodlands division local member, Cllr Eric Broadbent, added: “The boost that having first-class cricket in Scarborough brings to the surrounding areas is vital to our residents.
“I am delighted that the improvements have secured the future of Scarborough cricket for many years to come.”