A CRICKET club is gearing up for the biggest investment in its 70-year history.

Oakmere Cricket Club has been granted permission to build a new three-bay practice facility.

Daniel Faulkner, the club’s vice chairman and development officer, is over the moon with this result and believes it will help the club continue its unprecedented growth.

He said: “Simply put, this will be a transformational facility for the club and the single biggest investment project in our history.

“To do it in our 70th year anniversary is special too, it unlocks our club vision to produce homegrown cricketers for our senior teams and offer opportunities for recreational cricket to all members and even attract new ones.”

The Overdale Lane club submitted the planning application in December and it was formally approved by Cheshire West and Chester Council on April 22.

The new facility will be constructed next to the existing two-bay facility, which will be demolished as part of the project.

This area is not currently in use and so will not take away any current usable pitch space.

It will, however, help to increase the capacity for practising for both junior and senior players.

Northwich Guardian: The area where the new facility will be built is not currently in useThe area where the new facility will be built is not currently in use (Image: Supplied)

It will also be surrounded on all sides by a net cage, meaning it can be used during matchdays.

Daniel, 37, first joined the club in 2012 and continues to play as the second team’s wicketkeeper.

Over the past 12 years, he has seen the club go from strength to strength.

“We are bucking the trend a little in the cricket community and are lucky enough to be growing in terms of both senior and junior members,” he said.

“We recently formed a third team and a ladies second team along with full compliments of junior sections right up from the age of five.

“Usage of our facilities is therefore at a premium and so we decided to look at investing in our practice net facilities to increase capacity but also by building a full enclosed structure it allows us to host games and practice at the same time.”

By being able to play and practice on the same day, the club’s capacity will effectively double.

This will help support the growing membership, with more than 150 active playing members.

The new facility will also involve the latest technology so while being artificial, it will closely resemble the conditions of a grass wicket.

Work is expected to begin at the start of June and take three weeks, depending on weather conditions.