Sevenoaks Vine to receive £25,000 facelift after summer of lockdown

Sevenoaks Vine Cricket Club (SVCC) were pleased to announce in September that the Vine cricket ground will be benefitting from a £25,000 facelift after it became a focal point of community recreational activity during the summer of Covid-19.

Andy Richardson, Chairman of SVCC, commented: “As you will be aware, during Covid lockdown the Vine became a focal point of community recreational activity – some days it was akin to Glastonbury without the mud. The heavy cover and occasional inappropriate use resulted in the Vine being damaged to the extent that it’s use for cricket had to be severely restricted, with our 1st and 2nd XI fixtures being moved to Otford. We should be so grateful we have Otford as an alternative venue and which was, by consensus, in immaculate condition.”

The club gathered key stake holders, including Sevenoaks Town Council, to agree that a major refurbishment was necessary to restore the Vine to a sustainable condition that befits the standing of the club and places this historic and iconic venue back in the community as a jewel in the crown.

Richardson added: “The restoration will take the whole winter to achieve and requires considerable funding which we do not carry in our operating budgets. I am therefore pleased to say that Sevenoaks Town Council made available to us a grant of £16,000 to support this effort. The significance of this grant, offered during these times, is not to be underestimated and is a measure of the cooperation that exists between us and our landlords.

“We also have a grant application in process with the ECB for a further £3,000. All that said, there is still a shortfall in funds to complete the project without dipping into our operating budgets and so we will shortly be launching a crowd funding initiative to raise the additional £8,000 from members and the community.“

He continued: “There are many people we wish to thank for helping us through this uncertain period: Savills, our long-standing partner and primary sponsor who stood by the club and honoured their commitments without the certainty of any cricket; Sevenoaks Town Council for their continued support; SVCC players of all ages who stepped forward to make any cricket possible; the coaches who had the near impossible task of juggling demand, opportunity and resources; the committee and volunteers who worked tirelessly to deliver the best cricket proposition possible and keep the club on a sustainable footing; and finally the members, who stood with and have supported the club throughout.”

Richardson concluded by saying: “There is no certainty of what 2021 might look like but you may be assured we will be doing our level best to advance the club in all areas. We have much to do and if you feel able to help support that effort, either as a committee member or as a volunteer in any capacity, please do not hesitate to contact either myself or any other officers of the club.”