COUNCILLORS in Ellesmere have thrown their weight behind plans from the town's cricket club to carry out vital renovations on its council-owned ground to secure its future.

Representatives from the club attended Ellesmere Town Council's full meeting on Monday, September 5 to explain the work they want to carry out on the Birch Road site.

The work, including levelling out the ground for improved drainage in the short-term and long-term plans of a new pavilion and parking, would bring to an end the club's seven-year search for a new base.

James Harrison and fellow club members told councillors present that the plans needed their support, as it is council land, but also to help them apply for grants.

He said: "The club has around 150 members and has us as the town’s busiest local club, with a senior men, ladies and juniors sections.

"We do offer a lot and we’ve received national and local recognition for ladies and juniors section, and we put a lot in.

"Our the flooding problems has been called ‘a temporary extra mere’ – our ground and club is an open and well-used facility.

"But the club needs to have a facility that is also just for the game and the total ‘usable’ ground is not comparable to other clubs in the area.

"We're making an appeal for more ‘usable’ land and from a health and safety point of view, we need more space, and that it is impinging on the events the club wishes to hold.

"We make the best of it but we would like to do better – we are a town club and have a reach around the surrounding villages.

"We have support of the club, the ECB but we want your support too.

"We want a new facility that is future-proofed and can serve the town for the long-term."

Mr Harrison added that plans included ripping up the ground to put in new drainage, which would connect with the town's network, and then levelling out uneven ground caused by sand with £250,000 worth of donated topsoil.

Councillors were impressed by the presentation and quickly agreed to support the plans, including an asset transfer from Shropshire Council and in planning permission.

They also supported an application to cut down a tree at the ground.