Portsmouth Cricket Club unveil new-look pavilion at St Helens that cost ‘very close’ to £100,000

Portsmouth Cricket Club are ‘extremely delighted’ with their new-look pavilion at St Helens.

Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 11:31 am
Lord mayor Cllr Frank Jonas officially opens the new Portsmouth CC pavilion. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Portsmouth Mayor Cllr Frank Jonas was the guest of honour at the official opening of the redeveloped facility at the Southsea seafront venue.

Cllr Jonas stayed on to watch an inter-club match - billed as the Mayor’s XI v the Chairman’s XI - under Hundred rules.

The final cost of the building work, according to Portsmouth CC chairman Rick Marston, ‘was close to £100,000.’

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The new-look Portsmouth CC pavilion. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Of that sum, around £23,000 was raised via a Crowdfunding page where almost 250 people donated money towards the project.

The club had launched an ambitious online campaign last November which needed to hit the £20,000 mark by January 3 in order to proceed.

Over 200 supporters had helped swell the total to over £17,000 by Christmas. Then club president Arthur Shaw - along with his wife Diane and son Matt, who plays for the club - pledged a whopping £3,500 to see the target reached.

The donation was worth another £845 when Gift Aid, a scheme available to charities and grassroots sports clubs, is taken into account. Under Gift Aid rules, PCC can claim an extra 25p for every £1 donated.

An inter-club Hundred match followed the official opening of the new-look Portsmouth CC pavilion Picture: Habibur Rahman

The rest of the project monies came from cash Portsmouth had squirrelled away over a few years and a number of sponsors - the main one being city-based firm St Cross Homes, who donated a five-figure sum.

The new-look facility replaces the previous one that was built in the late 60s and had started to look its age.

Three new changing rooms have been created - one of which will be used primarily by the club’s women and girls cricketers. On a Saturday, it will be used by the umpires.

A larger bar area has been created with the stockroom now immediately behind the bar area - previously it was at the back of the building.

An inter-club Hundred match followed the official opening of the new-look Portsmouth CC pavilion Picture: Habibur Rahman

Upstairs, a ‘fantastic’ new viewing gallery has been created with a mini-bar allowing the rooftop terrace to be used for functions as well.

‘You can watch the Cruise Ships go along the Solent as well as watching the cricket,’ reported Marston.

‘It’s amazing what just a 10 or 12 foot difference can make in giving a completely different perspective.’

Marston also praised Southsea building company C T McCann, who undertook the redevelopment work.

An inter-club Hundred match followed the official opening of the new-look Portsmouth CC pavilion Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘They’ve done a brilliant job and have been very flexible, allowing us to play at a weekend and then restarting on a Monday.

‘It’s run over time a little, but there’s been a nationwide shortage of some building materials.’

Next on the Southern Premier League Division 1 club’s ‘to do’ list is an upgrade of their all-weather nets.

Marston reckons it would cost around ‘£50-£60,000’ to get a ‘specialist company’ in to do that work.

‘We might have some of the experience in-house to bring the cost down a bit,’ he admitted.

‘I would love to be able to get it done next year but realistically it’s going to be a 24-month project.

Portsmouth CC president Arthur Shaw, right, and chairman Rick Marston in front of the dated-looking pavilion at St Helens last December. Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘We need to start raising money, and having done one Crowdfunder we can’t really ask people to donate again.’