Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 13.23.22Players at a leading County Durham cricket club’s numbers are up thanks to the installation of a new electronic scoreboard.
Brandon Cricket Club has exchanged its old mechanical board for a state-of-the-art, computer-controlled scoreboard thanks to a £5,000 grant from Meadowfield-based property and energy firm The Banks Group, via its Banks Community Fund.
The scoreboard has had rave reviews from both the club’s players and scorers, as well as those from visiting teams, and as well as generally improving the facilities available at the Brandon Lane ground, it is also already helping to increase the numbers of people who’re interested in becoming scorers for the club’s various sides.
With its history going back to the 1930s, Brandon Cricket Club moved to its present location a quarter of a century ago, and currently runs four senior men’s sides, with its first XI competing in Division One of the North East Premier League.
It also has a women’s side that plays in the Durham County Women’s League, runs junior sides at U11, U13, U15 and U18 level, and regularly hosts matches for Durham County Cricket Club’s 2nd XI and Academy sides.
Club chairman Ian Johnson says: “The old scoreboard has served us well over many years, but it didn’t fit with the standard of facilities that we look to provide these days and its location on the other side of the ground from the pavilion also meant that scorers were rather detached from the teams and everyone else.
“The scoreboard is controlled via a computerised scoring programme on a laptop, and a few simple keystrokes are all that’s required to update the score.  It’s very easy to use, looks fantastic, and has already helped us get one of our former scorers back involved with the club.
“With around 120 matches taking place here every year, we’re trying to increase the numbers of people who’ll do the scoring for them, especially amongst our younger players and their friends, and having this sort of kit available for them to use is going to be a very big draw.
“We try to make improvements to the ground every year which we pay for out of our membership fees and bar takings, but making a large capital purchase like this without outside help would simply mean we’d have to put something else off.
“Without the Banks Group’s help, we’d have had to keep soldiering on with our old scoreboard until it had completely given up the ghost, and their support has made already made a big difference to people’s experience of playing, scoring and watching cricket at our ground.”
Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at The Banks Group, adds: “Community sports organisations like Brandon Cricket Club provide a real focal point for people of all ages, and the participation they encourage can help improve players’ health & well-being, self-confidence and teamwork skills.
“Brandon Cricket Club’s sides are all enjoying a very successful season, and we are pleased to have helped them put a new scoreboard in place that will be counting up their runs and wickets for many more seasons to come.”
The Banks Community Fund provides grants for community groups and voluntary organisations in the vicinity of both operational and proposed Banks Group projects.  Anyone interested in applying for funding should contact James Eaglesham at the Banks Community Fund on 0191 378 6342.