PLANS to replace some of the ‘poorest practice facilities in Cumbria’ for the upcoming generation of sportsmen and women to use have been approved.

A proposal submitted to South Lakeland District Council to upgrade cricket facilities at Ulverston Sports Club in Priory Road has been given the green light.

The planning application proposes to replace the mobile net cages currently at the club with an all-weather practice facility available for everyone to use.

Owain Oxenham, lead coach at Ulverston Cricket Club, which practises at Ulverston Sports Club, described the current practice nets as ‘almost unusable’ and ‘dangerous’.

He said: “Ulverston Cricket Club is one of the fastest growing cricket clubs in Cumbria.

“We have a large junior section with a fast-developing girls’ team, ‘Ulverston Rockets’, and a new Women’s Softball team ‘Ulverston Comets’.

“We have delivered the ECB ‘All Stars’ (four to eight-year-olds) and ‘Dynamos’ (eight to 11-year-olds) programmes since their inceptions and currently have nearly 70 attendees.

“Despite this growth, we have some of the poorest practice facilities in Cumbria.

“Our practice nets are almost unusable and are dangerous when damp. These new nets will allow all our players, male and female, of all ages, to practice throughout the season whatever the conditions.”

The proposed development consists of the construction of a permanent all-weather cricket practice facility which will be single-storey and set away from the site boundaries.

Sport England submitted a response in support of the plans.

It reads: “Sport England generally supports the provision of new or enhanced ancillary facilities. They can play an important role in helping people to become active and stay active as well as improving the use and viability of the playing field for sport.

“Along with enhancing the experience for existing users, they can make the use of the playing field a more attractive proposition for potential new users.”

The club, founded in 1849, was the first cricket club to be established in the Furness area.

The club was, in 1892, a founder member of the league which has now become the North Lancashire and Cumbria Cricket League.

In 1975, South Lakeland District Council purchased, levelled and drained, two previously uneven fields on the southern edge of the town, and offered the lease of these to the local sports teams provided they would join forces to develop a single multi-sports club.

The Ulverston Sports and Recreation Association was therefore established, embracing the Ulverston Rugby League Club, The Ulverston Hockey Club, Ulverston Rangers Association Football Club and the Cricket Club.