RENOVATION work is underway on Scarborough’s historic North Marine Road cricket ground.
This year will see the ground host the 125th anniversary of the ever-popular annual cricket festival, which has attracted some of the finest players in the sport’s history to the town over the years such as Don Bradman, Geoff Boycott and Ricky Ponting.
Last August it was announced it will definitely host first-class county action for the next decade following confirmation of an exclusive deal with Yorkshire Cricket Club after months of protracted negotiations. The venue, which has previously attracted criticism for the standard of its facilities, is undergoing a number of improvements including a makeover of the pavilion, alterations to the ticket office and pavilion windows, and demolition and replacement of the existing toilet block on the east terrace. There will also be a new shop adjoining the new toilet block.
Oliver Barker, of agents Smith Smalley Architects, said: “The improvements will not only enhance the site for the benefit of its users but also for the surrounding area.
“Many of the existing structures within the site have, over time, become dilapidated, unsightly and in need of renovation.
“The proposals aim to address these issues and bring the cricket club up-to-date using modern, environmentally-friendly materials and construction methods.”
The site hosts Yorkshire Cricket Club for a number of four day and one day matches each year as well as other ECB representative games such as England U19 and Ladies Test Matches.
In July the ground will also hold its first competitive Twenty20 encounter when it welcomes Yorkshire Carnegie
and Durham Dynamos.
In 2009 Scarborough Cricket Club chairman Bill Mustoe defended the state of the ground after an article in The Guardian claimed: “cricket at Scarborough seemed in terminal decline”.
But a high-profile restoration project featuring current England paceman James Anderson and ex-Test captain Mike Gatting gave it a new lease of life.
Yorkshire County Cricket Club chief executive Stewart Regan also spoke warmly of the venue when the 10-year deal was struck in the summer. He said: “I’m delighted that Yorkshire will be playing games here over the next decade.
“We will continue to work in partnership with Scarborough Cricket Club, Scarborough Council and Welcome to Yorkshire to attract new investment so that cricket on the East coast can be preserved long after this 10-year agreement expires.”