PLANS to build new cricket facilities at the Riverside ground in Chester-le-Street have taken a step forward.

Durham County Cricket Club is building a new playing area with a view to maximising opportunities for people of all ages.

The Durham Cricket Foundation has won a £25,000 grant from the Banks Community Fund to deliver the next two stages of the project, which will cost around £200,000.

A water supply has been laid to ensure the water needed to grow grass across the new square and pitch is easily available.

A range of equipment specifically for use at the nursery ground, including a mower, cutter, roller and covers, is also being funded.

The nursery ground facility, which is on track to be ready for use by April next year, will be the first of its kind in the North-East.

Josie Pointon, manager at the Durham Cricket Foundation, said: “Our aim is to provide as many participation opportunities for as many different parts of the local community as possible, and the new nursery ground will have a transformative effect on the work that we can do.

“Having a dedicated water supply in place is an essential part of preparing the ground, while giving our grounds staff the equipment they need to get everything ready without delay will help us stick to our development timetable.”