Aigburth Cricket Club threatened with closure

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Aigburth Cricket Club is battling to survive after being left on the brink of closure.

The lease on the 132-year old historic venue comes to an end in November, after the courts granted another five years in 2015 despite the issuing of an eviction notice.

The ground is one of the few sites in Liverpool to be granted “Asset of Community Value” status, together with Anfield football stadium and St Luke’s Bombed Out Church. It has served at the heart of Aigburth/St Michaels community from its origins as a tea bar for Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 18887.

Club secretary Peter Pearcey told JMU Journalism: “The club really is part of the community and St Michael’s would never be the same place without it.”

The club has over 400 members and serves wide variety of social and sporting activities, as well as being the hub for local Labour and Green Party meetings. However, the landlord is refusing to extend the club’s lease and it will be forced to vacate in late 2021.

Mr Pearcey, who has been a member at the club for almost 40 years, praised the work his fellow members are doing to keep the ground running.

He said: “Over the last few years, the members have been wonderful in raising money to cover our legal costs by all kinds of means from sponsored walks, race nights, supermarket bag packing, discos, live music nights and many other kinds of activities. This shows how much they value and want to retain their club.”

Budding Brighton cricketer Tom Bing, who has previously played at the ground, expressed his disappointment at the club’s situation.

He said: “I played there a few years back and what struck me was the family feel of the club. It felt like a society, it had a really communal vibe.

“There were all sorts of people there – families, athletes, musicians. It seemed as though it catered for anyone and everyone. It would be such as shame if the ground were to go under.”

The potential closure has attracted the backing of Tom Crone, the leader of Liverpool’s Green Party, who released a petition last week in the hope that the club will be saved, and it has garnered wide support, reaching over 7000 of 8000 required signatures already.

Mr Pearcey said: “The best outcome of the petition would be having a chance to buy the ground or getting a new lease from either the current owners or any other body that might purchase the ground.”

You can sign the ‘Save Aigburth Cricket Club’petitition HERE.

 

About Charlie Lau, JMU Journalism