Funds allocated for Kenilworth Wardens Cricket Club to move across town

Kenilworth Wardens Cricket Club
Kenilworth Wardens Cricket Club

Funds are to be made available to help a cricket club relocate from one side of Kenilworth to the other.

Councillors at this week’s Warwick District Council’s cabinet meeting agreed to allocate up to £312,000 so that Kenilworth Wardens Cricket Club can move from Glasshouse Lane to a new base at Castle Farm allowing their former site to be used for housing.

But while it was pointed out that the club’s move was key to the council’s plan to build more homes, some at the meeting had concerns over their viability.

Cllr Jonathan Nicholls (Lab, Leamington Clarendon), chairman of the council’s finance and audit scrutiny committee, said: “We all recognise the importance of securing the land east of Kenilworth for development however I think our note of caution was about Kenilworth Wardens Club Ltd – it seems as though they rely solely upon one person’s energy.

“It is a company limited by guarantee but on the other hand published accounts show that on a turnover of about £650,000 it’s losing £40,000 a year. I think the concerns expressed were that it would be taking on more facilities.

"The question is a genuine one and an important one about the risks they might be entailing and therefore we might entail when dealing with them as a counter party.”

Cllr Richard Hales (Con Kenilworth Abbey and Arden) said that the current pitches used by the club weren’t the best as they were based on clay and that the new facilities would therefore benefit the community and cricketers of all ages.

And fellow ward member Cllr John Cooke added: “I have to say as the portfolio holder for development that this is one of the schemes that just has to proceed – a bit like Kenilworth School – in order to get all the development done for the district’s local plan as far as Kenilworth is concerned. All the balls have to slot into place and we’re a long way from getting there yet.”

Warwick District Council has already loaned Kenilworth Wardens £400,000 to help with costs but this was found to be insufficient.