Members of Folkestone Cricket and Folkestone Optimists Hockey clubs have been concerned for a number of years regarding the on-going provision of suitable facilities for Cricket and Hockey in the district.
The condition of the existing council owned clubhouse and artificial playing surface had reached a stage where it was no longer fit for purpose and the constraints on public spending implied that these facilities would not be replaced in the near future.
This posed a significant threat to the future of cricket and hockey in Shepway, sports which the clubs had successfully represented for over 100 years.
As a result, in 2008 the clubs combined to investigate options for securing additional funding to enhance the current facilities and secure a future for these sports in the area.
As part of this investigation, team members met with Roger de Haan who, being impressed with the passion, vision and collaboration the clubs exhibited, agreed to support the project. The Roger de Haan Charitable Trust then engaged with the sports clubs to expand the original ideas into the development of a centre of excellence for cricket and hockey and introduce netball as a third core sport for the facility.
Shepway District Council agreed to support the scheme through the provision of a 125 year lease at a peppercorn rental and this, together with 100% funding from the Roger de Haan Charitable Trust, has made this ambitious scheme possible.
The Roger De Haan Charitable Trust supports a wide variety of projects, mainly in Folkestone and east Kent. The Trust welcomes new applications from community groups or institutions with charitable objectives in the areas of: advancing education, the arts, culture and heritage; regeneration of areas of historic importance for the benefit of the community, particularly in east Kent; community development; health and welfare of older people; and development of amateur sport.
For further information please see www.rdhct.org.uk.
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