Community Engagement

Please follow this link to watch a video about our project and fundraising plans

We are building a new pavilion which will be constructed alongside our existing one. The current pavilion was built in 1975 using second hand pre-fabricated builders huts and extended four times. It has the Bowlers Arms community social enterprise PH in part of the building offering a place to meet and catering for the local area, as well as cricket teas. Our changing rooms are not fit for purpose and cannot accommodate our 40 females or 53 registered disabled currently using the premises.

The old pavilion will be knocked down for an additional 40% car parking provision. A new community room will be built in our pavilion for non-cricket users as detailed in our Community Engagement Plan. Our club is based on an England Heritage site, where the First Battle of Newbury took place. The existing premise is on the site of the Battle and overseen by Historic England, who has approved the new building as appropriate for this historic environment.

The current building is not sustainable environmentally and has been condemned by a recent condition survey.

The new pavilion will provide the following services and amenities:

  1. Changing facilities for males and females and those with disability.
  2. New sustainable space for The Bowlers Arms
  3. Second floor for offices for Berkshire Cricket Development Staff as well as space for the cricket players during games.
  4. Sustain and expand our cricket participation which is open to women, girls, disability, members and non-members as detailed in our 5 year Cricket Development Plan
  5. Offer new non cricket activities including a new heritage walks and rambling, new music sessions, community group meetings and yoga as demonstrated in our 5 year Community Engagement plan.
  6. A fit for purpose building to sustain and increase our activities in the most energy efficient way possible through our proposed design.
  7. The existing building has a throughput of circa 15,500 visits per year and the new building will provide expanded opportunities and an improved community experience.

The Club is a registered Charity (Reg. No. 1168595) and is a major community cricket club and community facility for West Berkshire and Wash Common. It plays a vital role in the promotion and development of recreational cricket in the area. The Club is also one of the three premier grounds used by Berkshire County Cricket for its Minor County matches. Our proposed usage by year 5, of our cricket and community engagement plans will be:

  • 600 adults and junior cricket players (under 7years upwards) per year
  • 3000 residents of Wash Common access to social enterprise in a rural area of Newbury annually
  • 300 participants in Berkshire Cricket activities and training opportunities per year
  • 2133 people per week (non-cricket) will use our pavilion from the local community including pre-school and older people to keep active and engaged in their community
  • 300 Local school children through our partnership work with the local primary school and secondary schools who will use the new facility for their enrichment programmes per year
  • New community space and place to meet to run a range of activities as detailed in our Community Engagement Plan.

The sports players will have suitable changing facilities in particular for women and girls and disabled players which activities we introduced this year and now have 40 girls and 53 disabled cricket players. We were awarded a BIG Lottery grant from the Awards for All programme in June this year to help consult further with our community on their needs for our proposed new facility.

Our consultation process for the need for the new pavilion was as follows:

  1. Consultative meetings of the members of the FCC have been held on three occasions with around 90 members attending the meetings.
  2. Two meetings of the FCC Parents & Coaches Association have been held with circa 40 parents attending.
  3. A Vice Presidents and members meeting was held on 1st April 2016 which was attended by 55.
  4. A meeting with the local Parish Church members was held with 25 attending.
  5. An Open Day was held attended by 100 plus at which the public were consulted.
  6. A letter box drop to 800 local homes was made explaining the project and inviting residents a public meeting that was held on 22nd April circa 20 attended.
  7. A meeting of the residents of Enborne Park, the facility’s premises immediate neighbours, was held on 25th April. 12 of the 22 households represented.
  8. letter box drop was undertaken and 500 local homes received invitations to a public meeting were invited
  9. Meeting with the project team at Henley Cricket Club who built a new pavilion in 2010 and their design considerations
  10. Regular meeting with Berkshire Cricket Board and England and Wales Cricket Board Facilities Manager.

The project received universal approval from the public and members attending consultation meetings. It was considered that the new building and the removal of the existing building would enhance the environment of this sensitive historic site.

Concern was expressed that it may give rise to increased noise and light however these concerns have been addressed satisfactorily in the planning consent.

Extensive consultation has taken place internally at the club looking at how each space will be used for the different ages and types of activities.

Groups that currently use the amenity

Park House School

Falkland Junior School

Berkshire Cricket

West Berkshire School Sports Partnership

Newbury Cricket Club

St Georges Church Mens group

AJS Motorcycle Club

AFC Newbury Juniors

Bowlers Arms Netball Team

Newbury Twin Town Association

Newbury Cycle Club

Pumpkins Nursery

Newbury Maestros

No Limits-sports and health opportunities for adults with physical and learning difficulties which is on behalf of Diamond Care services.

Groups that have expressed an interest in using the amenity

All of the above will continue and expand the opportunities that they offer.

Detailed information on how the new facility will be used and the partners we will work with is detailed in our Community Engagement Plan, however key new users will be:

Get Berkshire Active

Everactive Programme-social care for vulnerable adults

Public Health-West Berkshire

New softball club

New walking football session

New yoga sessions (starting September 2016)

Newbury Ramblers Association

West Berkshire Heritage walks

Duke of Edinburgh groups

Scout and Brownie groups

Harbeeps music

Tiny Talk

Baby Sensory Newbury

Wash Common Health Walks



West Berkshire Disability Cricket Hub

West Berkshire Girls Cricket hub

These groups above were identified via contacts in Families Magazine-West Berkshire and local authority websites as well as word of mouth to ascertain need for our new proposed community space to run more activities. Catering will be offered by the Bowlers Arms around the activities and WIFI will be provided in the building.

From our own consultation we have produced a 5 year Community Engagement Plan which is attached with our application and outlines how we propose to work with existing and new stakeholders.

Key relationships include:

Park House School-

  • Working together on a local Heritage Lottery Project in association with West Berkshire Museum.
  • Use of our current facilities for their enrichment programme activities free of charge.
  • Maintaining their cricket grounds for school and School Sports Partnership use

Falkland Junior School-

  • Offering free cricket activities as part of the ECB Chance to Shine programme
  • Hosting fundraising events when required

Berkshire Cricket

  • Hosting minor county cricket matches
  • West Berkshire hub for girls cricket and disability cricket (new this season)

The Bowlers Arms

  • Offering fit for purpose sustainable space for the local community to use 7 days a week

Health Opportunities-No Limits Sports

  • New activities for up to 30 adults with either brain injuries or physical disabilities for a social venue and adaptive cricket activities.

We have this year offered disabled people from Diamond Care Services in Thatcham opportunities to visit the club. They provide residential care for adults with learning or physical disabilities and brain injuries. They attend weekly bringing approximately 25 people with a variety of disabilities to the club to sit outside on the veranda or indoors in The Bowlers Arms area and have their lunch. This is a great social experience for them. Funding was raised by the club via a local Trust to offer adapted cricket activities through No Limits who is a very experienced disability coach. We plan to expand our offer of activities to older people through links with Empowering West Berkshire and Sport In Mind, plus other partners including the Berkshire Cricket Foundation as detailed in our Community Engagement Plan. Our usage is reflective of our local community and anyone is welcome to take part. We will partner with Sport In Mind to offer particular sessions for unemployed people due to mental health issues in 2017.