The 2018 season is nearly upon us and it will not only see Worcestershire CCC in a new division but also the Worcestershire Supporters’ Association based in a new shop at Blackfinch New Road.

The Association shop has been located at the back of the Basil D’Oliveira Stand for several seasons.

But now the Association have financed a new shop which will be housed in between the Graeme Hick Pavilion and the flourishing Foley’s eatery and coffee house.

Funding for the new shop has been made possible thanks to the wonderful legacy left to the Supporters’ Association by their late former long serving chairman, Ken Mills MBE who sadly passed away just over 18 months ago.

The unit has been purchased by the Association for a five figure sum from Pershore based firm, Rapid Retail, and is scheduled to be in place for the start of the new campaign.

The original proposal had been for a new shop on the River Severn-Cathedral side of the ground – above flood level and including a disabled viewing platform.

But that plan had to be shelved after a proposed grant for a disabled platform did not materialise and led to a re-think by the Association committee.

The new shop will provide the additional space to stock a wider range of clothing and cricket related items than was possible in the previous headquarters – including replica shirts and club clothing.

Supporters’ Association chairman Andrew Jenkins said: “Over recent season, members have commented that the Association shop should be located in a more ideal position within New Road.

“This has now been made possible thanks to Ken’s legacy and will create a match day destination at Blackfinch New Road for members and visiting fans alike and can only benefit the County Cricket Club and the Supporters’ Association.”

Previous Worcestershire CEO, Tom Scott, worked closely with the Association on this project – he is now part of their committee – and is delighted to see it come to fruition – a view echoed by his successor, Matt Rawnsley.

Matt Rawnsley said: “The Supporters’ Association have funded many key projects at New Road over many years and, in my time here as a player, I was aware of the positive impact they have had on the club.

“I know Tom (Scott) was keen on developing a strong, working relationship with the Association and I can only echo those sentiments and look forward to enjoying the same relationship.

“The Association’s new club shop is in an ideal location for members and supporters and should, as Andrew (Jenkins) says, be of benefit to the cricket club and the Association.”