Sidmouth Town Council stumps up £200 to back cricket contest

PUBLISHED: 16:30 24 March 2016

Sidmouth Cricket Club at The Fortfield

Sidmouth Cricket Club at The Fortfield

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Sporty Sidmouth ‘punches well above its weight’ - and now civic leaders have upped their commitment to a cricket match being held here this summer.

Sidmouth batsman Luke Bess is pictured playing against Exmouth at the Fortfield on Saturday. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shsp 5731-20-13SH To order your copy of this photograph go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on MyPhotos24.Sidmouth batsman Luke Bess is pictured playing against Exmouth at the Fortfield on Saturday. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shsp 5731-20-13SH To order your copy of this photograph go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on MyPhotos24.

Town councillors have agreed to cover the £200 cost of match balls at the county’s three-day Unicorns Championship, which costs around £2,000 to put on.

They also plan to invest £150 in a banner to advertise their support for it and various other events – and chairman Jeff Turner has offered to get out in his regalia in a civic capacity.

In a letter to the town council, Devon County Cricket Club chief executive Neil Gamble said: “Sidmouth punches well above its weight as a sporting town. The existence of very regular club and county cricket matches at the Fortfield has brought people into the town since World War Two, with many teams staying at hotels and guest houses in Sidmouth.

“This situation is well-known in the area, but has received very little direct recognition of recent times by the town or district councils.”

Mr Gamble has also approached Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce and East Devon District Council for support and said: “It is felt that the three organisations will be able to raise the profile of local major cricketing activities to the advantage of all concerned.”

Speaking at Monday’s tourism meeting, Councillor Ian McKenzie-Edwards said backing the club would be recognition of its success and may bring in some visitors.

Cllr Ian Barlow said the town council’s support for FolkWeek ‘indirectly’ benefits the town’s sports clubs – as they cash in by offering parking spaces.

Cllr Louise Cole supported the idea of a banner that can be used to promote healthy lifestyles and confidence building.

Mr Gamble asked any businesses interested in sponsoring a souvenir brochure to write to Sidmouth Cricket, Tennis and Croquet Club, Fortfield, Sidmouth EX10 8NT.

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