Proceeds from the controversial sale of a cottage on the edge of a Sheffield park boundary are to be reinvested to improve the park’s cricket facilities.
Building works on the roof of Graves Park cricket pavilion along with major drainage works to the ground will mark the first stage of the park’s £200,000 improvements, largely funded by the sale of the run-down Cobnar Cottage.
The scheme also includes proposed improvements to play facilities, the animal farm, tennis courts and footpaths. But the sale sparked huge controversy with more than 10,000 people signing a petition to oppose the sale.
The Friends of Graves Park group said the cottage was not the council’s to sell and was given to the people of Sheffield by JG Graves in 1925. They also accused the council of breaking the law.
Coun Mary Lea, cabinet member for culture, parks and leisure at Sheffield Council, said: “It’s great to announce the first development within the wider major investment programme in Graves Park.
“We always said that the proceeds of the sale of the unused and derelict Cobnar Cottage would go back into the park.
“It is no secret that we as an authority are under huge budget pressures, and we are very limited in the money that we can put into our city’s much-loved parks.”
The pavilion, which was built in the 1960s, has needed a new roof for several years. But, due to a lack of funds, club members have had to resort to short-term fixes. The ground is also vulnerable to heavy flooding.
James Eyre, captain of Norton Woodseats Cricket Club said: “Improvements to the ground in the park are vital to our club and the new roof on the pavilion will ensure the ground remains in a good condition.
“The planned drainage work is desperately needed and these improvements will ensure we as a club are able to play more matches. The junior section at the club is thriving, they need to play as often as they can and this work will make that possible.”