Plans for a new cricket pavilion and community centre at Alconbury Weald have been approved, bringing both new community space and regular cricket to the major development a step closer.

The Pavilion is expected to be completed Summer 2021, and will provide the first purpose built building for the growing community, alongside the Listed Watch Office and Club - which it sits opposite - at the heart of the first phase of Alconbury Weald.

The building draws on traditional approaches in the local area - with an anchor use as a Cricket Pavilion, with social space for functions and events overlooking the pitch – but has a modern design and light and airy feel in keeping with the new development’s public buildings.

The single storey building will provide a flexible community hall, kitchens, and toilets, and include an office for the development’s Communities Team. It will work alongside the community space and library in the Watch Office, and sits a short walk from the gym and café in The Club building.

The building has also been designed with extensive input from Cricket East and has a players’ lobby, club room, changing rooms, and physiotherapy rooms, which can also be used for health support for the new community. Cricket East have also supported a number of training and community sessions – including supporting the Big Summer Bash last year – which saw Sir John Major “christen” the ground with an inaugural match for local residents. They are working with Urban&Civic to plan more events, when the Covid-19 restrictions lift to warm up the community and local clubs to use the facilities as they come forward.

The approved plans also include the planting of native trees around the pavilion, which connect with the wider green corridors of trees and hedgerows which run across the development.

The Pavilion and Cricket Pitch act as a pivotal centre to the first phase of development, and -alongside the primary school and play areas which sit an 8 minute walk away - provide the heart of the initial village, during this first phase of development.

Rebecca Britton at Urban&Civic, said:

“The Pavilion follows a traditional model for local community hubs: with regular sporting use working alongside community space for meetings and activities, all within a green setting so kids of all ages can play outdoors safely. These days more than ever, health and well being need to be at the heart of everything we do, and the Pavilion has our green cycle and walking routes to reach it, and will be the hub of a number of sporting events and activities, which we are working with Active Communities and Cricket East to bring forward.”

The news has been welcomed by Cricket East, the organisation responsible for delivering cricket participation and growth activities across Bedfordshire and Huntingdonshire.

Sam Rose from Cricket East, said:

“We have been working with Urban&Civic for many years to help their aspiration to put healthy and active living at the heart of Alconbury Weald. It is great to see the Pavilion moving into delivery, and this will help formalise the range of cricketing and other sports activity we can support the Communities Team to put on. We have always supported the model of this building which puts sports at the heart of the community.”