We are now approaching the mid-way point for the 2022 County Grants application process. Application window 1 has closed with some interesting new projects being supported. This is in addition to the 2021 projects, many of which are now nearing completion.
Devon Cricket is pleased to have supported a range of diverse club projects, aimed either at creating welcoming environments, increasing participation in womens, girls and disability cricket, or tackling climate change.
Although not an exhaustive list, below is a summary of some clubs to recently benefit from a County Grant to make exciting improvements at their club:
Ipplepen (upper image) & Plympton (lower image)- Modifications to their pavilion to 'open up' to the outside world, with widened door openings and additional enhancements to improve the recreational experience at their club.
Topsham St James and Holsworthy - Addition of a non-turf pitch to help cope with additional fixture demands from an increase in women and girls participation in cricket.
Bovey Tracey - Improved changing room arrangements to incorporate women and girls changing space
Thorverton, Cornwood and Braunton - Kitchen improvements and expansion to enhance the catering experience at their clubs
Teignmouth & Shaldon - Improved access to the ground
Woodbury & Newton St Cyres - Replacement of all lighting with energy efficient LED alternative to save on electricity costs
We expect most clubs are now aware of the ECB County Grants Fund, which commenced in 2021. It aims to support affiliated cricket clubs to create welcoming environments, provide enhanced facilities and playing opportunities for women and girls, and to develop environmentally sustainable clubs.
With Application 1 window now closed, we look forward to opening the Application 2 window from 8th August, allowing clubs almost six weeks (up to 23rd Sept) to prepare and submit their application in line with one of the key themes of the grant.
It should be noted however that if clubs are considering any structural changes or new-build activities, as part of their proposed project, then its likely that planning permission and building regs approval will need to be sought. This process can take several months to complete, so we would urge clubs to get started as soon as possible to be confident of making the application submittal deadline.
THE COUNTY GRANTS FUND
The full guidance notes for the County Grants Fund, including the application process, levels of funding available and eligibility criteria, are attached here – full ECB guidance notes.
However in summary ………..
The fund has three essential themes:
- Creating Welcoming Environments
- Providing Enhanced Facilities and Playing Opportunities for Women’s and Girls’ Cricket and / or Disability Cricket
- Tackling Climate Change
Clubs can apply for between £1,000 and £10,000.
HOW WILL THE COUNTY GRANTS FUND BE MANAGED IN DEVON?
There are a few key points we would like to make to clubs at this stage:
- Eligibility – Each theme has clear eligibility criteria, as laid out in the guidance notes. The key aim of the fund is to help make clubs more welcoming environments for the whole family and community.
- Prioritisation - Priority will be given to applications from Clubs that are actively engaged with ECB programmes (All Stars, Dynamos, Women’s and Girls’ Cricket and / or Disability Cricket).
Through delivering the ECB national programmes, clubs are demonstrating a commitment towards diversifying and expanding their club offers, making them more appealing to a wider demographic. It is therefore considered a priority that these clubs have facilities which both support and enable an effective delivery of the programmes.
Additionally clubs providing evidence to demonstrate that their project has been thoroughly thought out, with wider club consultation, partnership funding and use of the ECB Creating Welcoming Environments resource, will be looked on more favourably.
- Local management – The County Grants Fund has been set up to be administered locally with autonomy for County Cricket Boards to work with clubs and make decisions on projects that warrant investment. This is welcomed by the DCB as it provides an opportunity to work closely with clubs regarding their projects and overall club development. The DCB are empowered to “support” an application, which then moves to the ECB Case Officer to conduct a final review and make an award offer.
- Not a replacement for Small Grant Scheme – The County Grants Fund is not a re-badge of the old Small Grants Scheme. The project themes are very different with potentially higher levels of investment. The County Grants Fund will involve more dialogue between each club and the DCB, and will also drive more robust planning to ensure that the investment fits with the wider aspirations of both club and the county.
- Scale of support – The County Grants Fund has been launched by the ECB as a priority for supporting the recreational game and the ambitions of its Inspiring Generations Strategy. Therefore, there are very positive levels of investment attributed to the fund, however within the DCB’s annual budget it may not be possible to support every application, with some projects either being deferred to the next funding window, signposted to other sources of funding, or being offered a grant lower than requested. Projects that have been well planned will be considered more favourably than projects that have been rushed. On that basis it is possible that some applications may be deferred to the next funding window, if they are considered to require further development before an award can be offered.
APPLICATIONS AND DEADLINES FOR 2022
In order to manage expectations and provide clubs with advanced guidance on their application, we are now requesting that each club completes an Expression of Interest form, which will provide the “up front’ information to determine project eligibility and viability at an early stage.
After that initial consultation stage, the DCB will advise the club to complete their application via the ECB IMS portal. There will be two application windows for this year, as detailed in table below.
- Applications will be assessed within 15 working days of the submittal date. Over this period clubs will be notified if the project is either ineligible or missing key information. This may result in the application being referred back to clubs for further detail to be uploaded.
- All applications will then be reviewed by an internal peer review panel. They will be assessed against a developed criteria and alignment with County Strategy.
- With a pre-determined budget, the amount of funding may vary. The amount of grant offered may differ from that requested by the club.
- If the application is considered viable it will be supported by DCB and forwarded onto the ECB Case Officer for final scrutinization and award allocation. An offer decision by ECB can take to 30 working days.
- A club will have the opportunity to appeal should they want to contest the panels decision.
- In exceptional circumstances, if a club has a project that needs to be completed on an urgent basis, and can evidence this, then they can contact us to discuss the potential of funds being released early.
(Application deadline date)
Panel Review and Support Decision Period
21st Feb 2022
31st March 2022
1st – 22nd April 2022
8th Aug 2022
23rd Sept 2022
26th Sept– 14th Oct 2022
THE NEXT STEPS
- Familiarise yourself with the County Grant Fund guidance notes
- Utilise the ‘Creating Welcoming Environments’ resource, survey and checklist to help develop your project plan (details and links below).
- Define your project need clearly and commence your early stages of obtaining costs.
- Identify your club representative who will lead on your project – remember you will need two contacts for the application process.
- Consider at an early stage the need for appropriate Planning Permission and Building Regulations as these can be time consuming processes.
- When you consider you have a suitable project, please contact Devon Cricket via the “Expression of Interest” form. Routing of the form is automatic on submittal.
CREATING WELCOMING ENVIRONMENTS
To support the launch of the County Grants Fund, the ECB have released a new Creating Welcoming Environments Guide.
The Creating Welcoming Environments document is intended to provide guidance for cricket clubs to help make cricket facilities more inclusive and welcoming to all, by creating better environments for everyone using them and to encourage a more diverse range of people to join cricket clubs and get involved in the game at a recreational level. Club facilities are an important factor in ensuring that everyone, regardless of age, sex, sexual orientation, race, faith or disability, feels comfortable within the club environment.
To assist clubs in assessing where they may need to improve their facilities to make them more welcoming and inclusive, the ECB has developed a couple of self-assessment documents.
To discuss any of the above further please contact:
County Grant Fund Enquiries –
Nick Goodliffe - email@example.com - 07801 178329
Developing Womens and Girls Cricket –
Ann-Marie Presswell – firstname.lastname@example.org - 07494 151557
Developing Disability Cricket –
Lewis Fountain – email@example.com - 07960 038945
All Stars and Dynamos Cricket -
Alex Jopling firstname.lastname@example.org - 07507 711595