THE REFURBISHMENT of Scarborough’s North Marine Road cricket ground is being funded by Tesco, it has emerged.
The involvement of the supermarket giant with the £3 million project, which is on course to be completed by mid-April, came about after Tesco chose the cricket club redevelopment as its community project for 2011.
Both Tesco and the cricket club have said the decision to fund the building work is completely unrelated to the Tesco application to build a new superstore in nearby Dean Road.
The link-up is said to have been initiated through a friendship between cricket club vice-chairman Tony Gibson and Kavin Grace, Tesco’s national policy director.
Scarborough Cricket Club chairman Bill Mustoe said he was grateful to Tesco for their help. He said: “It’s all going very well. The ground is beginning to be put back together.
“The link with Tesco came about because of a couple of circumstances. There was a personal relationship and it developed from there.
“It went from a modest start to them saying they would like to help in a major way.
“They chose us as their community project for the year, getting various partners and supporters involved, and we’re extremely grateful for their support.
“It’s by far the biggest development at the ground for over 100 years.”
Tesco, its partners and suppliers are providing new wooden seats, a new toilet block and new club shop.
They are also overhauling the pavilion including a refurbishment of the players’ dining room and the installation of a disabled lift.
A new bar is being installed in the back of the West Stand, while a new viewing balcony at the Trafalgar Square End is being built. The scoreboard at the historic venue is also being refurbished.
It is hoped the improvements to the ground will ensure county cricket is played in Scarborough for decades to come.
Under the terms of their agreement with Yorkshire, which expires in 2020, Scarborough Cricket Club had been required to make improvements to their ground over the next decade.
Mr Mustoe added that he believes the improvements which are being undertaken will more than satisfy that requirement.
However he insisted the venue would retain the unique character which makes it so popular with cricket fans across the country.