Leyton County Ground host the first in a series of new Urban Cricket Centres being planned be the England & Wales Cricket Board. Developed in association with the London Borough of Waltham Forest, new £1.7 million facility is the first of three pilots ahead of a roll out of up to create 20 new Urban Cricket Centres in major urban areas as part of the ECB’s 2020-2024 ‘Inspiring Generations’ strategy.
The ECB’s six-point strategy to secure the long-term future of the sport in England and Wales seeks to broaden the appeal of cricket to new audiences, transform women and girl’s cricket, inspire through our elite teams and support local communities.
gcp worked closely with the ECB on the development of the Urban Cricket Centre concept, before devising a site selection strategy to identify the first Urban Cricket Centre pilot site. The idea behind each centre is to increase the profile of the cricket to residents in city locations and attract greater diversity in the sport at grass roots level. A key element of the project is creating a space for the local community to socialise and engage with cricket in all its forms.
The Leyton Ground pilot involved the refurbishment of an existing 1905’s sports hall. The design and construction of indoor cricket facilities has a focus on the flatness of the flooring; flicker free, high quality lighting and flexible configuration of netting all delivered to the exacting standard defined by the ECB. The aim was to create a first-class cricket centre in East London with the opportunities to play cricket in multiple formats. The project, commissioned in January 2019, was opened by Graham Gooch just over 6 months later, the day after the England vs Australia ODI match at Lords.
The next Urban cricket centre pilots of likely to be in West Yorkshire and Birmingham.