West Northamptonshire Council has agreed to lease land to Northamptonshire County Cricket Club to house a brand-new cricket facility in Moulton. The new complex will operate alongside The County Ground, which will remain the Club’s primary venue, and help to address a challenging lack of professional level facilities across the county.

Draft plans include two full-size pitches sharing a central pavilion, an outdoor practice square and six-lane indoor training area. The facility will expand the Club’s capacity to support the rapid growth of women’s and girls’ cricket in Northamptonshire, increase opportunities for people with disabilities and act as a purpose-built hub for junior and pathway cricket.

“This is an exciting milestone in a project that we’ve been working on for some time.” Northamptonshire Chief Executive Ray Payne said.

“There’s so much growth happening for cricket in the county, particularly in the women’s game and disability cricket, and over the last few years this demand has significantly increased pressure on our existing facilities.”

“We cannot play any more games at The County Ground than we do currently, so it makes sense for us to investigate the idea of an additional venue, which the site at Moulton offers.”

The new venue would become a home for the development of women’s and girls’ cricket of all formats, including softball festivals, junior leagues and provide a consistent venue for pathway cricket. There are no plans to move the professional men’s setup or club offices away from The County Ground, a venue Northamptonshire County Cricket Club has been proud to call home since 1886.

“We’re confident that a new facility will add enormous value to women and girls’ cricket in Northamptonshire and have a transformational impact on the volume and quality of cricket played in the county” said Payne.

“We’re looking forward to consulting with residents and working closely with other partners to develop a proposal that connects local communities through cricket.”

The project also provides a unique opportunity to bring together both participation and performance disability cricket in Northamptonshire, and by consulting closely with disability sport experts, the centre will set out to meet all ECB and Sport England guidance and standards.

NCCC Chairman, Gavin Warren, said “we’re proud that prudent governance and commercial growth of the club have helped us to achieve an enviable level of financial security.

“Now we need to ensure that we invest in our facilities so we can increase opportunities for everyone to play and expand the club’s reach into communities across Northamptonshire and surrounding counties.”

The Club will now look ahead to the next stage of the project in consulting with residents around the further progress of proposals which will be tested through the planning process and local licensing regimes.