Biggleswade Town Cricket Club
BTCC are a well-governed, ambitious, CASC and Clubmark Registered club, who have been part of the local community for more than 100 years. We are bucking local and national trends as we continue to thrive, building momentum both on and off the field. We put out two senior sides on both a Saturday and Sunday, with our Saturday 1st team recently achieving promotion from Hunts Division 1 to Whiting (Hunts and Cambs) Division 3 – a very high standard of cricket. Our Sunday 1st team have narrowly missed out on promotion to the Beds Premier Division, coming 3rd for the past two years. As a longstanding institution of our rapidly growing town, it is vital that we ride this wave and continue to grow as a club to meet the demands of our community.
Biggleswade's population of 20,985 has grown by 30% since 2001 (25% since the last improvements to our training facility in 2008). As the town grows it also diversifies, attracting a wider range of people from a wider range of backgrounds, communities and ethnicities. We have already made significant improvements to the diversity of our membership.
Our playing membership consists predominantly of young local players who have made their way through the junior setup at BTCC - a progression route that shows no signs of slowing down, with a team of young qualified coaches driving a growing and diversifying junior cohort. This is evidenced by our junior membership doubling in size since 2015 (approx. 80 across 3 age groups and a summer cricket camp in 2019) and our demographic statistics which show 10% of these as being from minority ethnic groups, and 5% identifying as female.
Based on the on-field successes detailed previously, we also regularly attract new players moving into the area, as well as high quality players from other local clubs. Of course, with this increased base level recruitment comes the wider, longer term recruitment of children, families and friends. This is evidenced by our overall membership of 71 (a 20% increase since 2015).
Coronavirus has had a monumental impact on participation in cricket across the whole world. A shortened, interrupted and maladapted season in 2020 left BTCC with very few junior or senior fixtures, no 'competitive' fixtures, significant limitations on the training exercises available and little or no in-house social activity. These drastic changes have not only knocked the club's finances, but our morale and, potentially, the positive momentum discussed above. We want to overcome and counteract these obstacles, investing in our club and our facilities in order to rebuild the spirit of our club and our town, to get Biggleswade playing cricket again!
Our current training facility is not equipped to facilitate this, nor to sustain the growth we had seen prior to the pandemic. It is hazardous, attracts vandalism, is an eyesore on the edge of our Green Wheel, and is generally unfit for purpose.
This lack of suitable facilities risks our recent successes becoming a short-term peak and a huge missed opportunity for the town. Instead, we want to prepare our club with the infrastructure to sustain this development, propelling ourselves to become highly aspirational, over-achieving representatives of the town, competing locally, regionally and nationally to the same extent as our football and rugby clubs.
In turn, a new training facility will allow us to continue to play our part in welcoming new individuals, families and communities to the town, providing an accessible outlet for physical and sporting activity in the Summer months – something that no other sports club in Biggleswade offers.
Not only would a new facility be a testimony to the role BTCC have played historically in occupying the town's young people through the Summer months, but it would be of immeasurable community benefit in continuing to increase children's participation in sport. This is more important than ever: from battling the drastic national increase in childhood obesity, to proven links between sporting participation, children's mental health, and reductions in anti-social behaviour. It is clear we have an important role to play in these areas on behalf of our community and there is no better place to start than our new netting facility.
As such, we propose the demolition of the current structure to be replaced by a 33m, 2-lane enclosed netting facility with a security fence.
We've already worked relentlessly to raise funds towards this project and owe huge thanks to:
- The overwhelming response to our Crowdfunder campaign which raised nearly £5,000 in its first week!
- The Langford and Biggleswade Windfarm Community Fund for their contribution of £22,000
- Cllr Mark Foster, Cllr Steven Watkins and Cllr Hayley Whittaker for their Ward Councillors' contributions totalling £6,901
- Sport England, for their £1,200 Active Together contribution to our Crowdfunder campaign
- Graham Simpson at Team Beds & Luton for his support, guidance and enthusiasm
We now need your support to help us maximise the potential of this campaign to provide the best possible facilities for our town and community!
There are still selection of amazing rewards available in exchange for your donations. Our huge thanks go the incredible businesses who have offered their fantastic services to help our cause: