Clubs in Worcestershire are again benefiting from a £45,000 windfall via the ECB Small Grants Scheme supported by Waitrose.

Worcestershire Cricket Board Limited (WCBL) have allocated the grant to 21 clubs situated in the County who applied for financial assistance.

One of the prime objectives of the scheme is to help clubs improve their facilities and to aid with wicket protection via covers and sheeting.

And the positive results were there to see from the distribution of last year's grant with a record 3,867 games of club cricket taking place throughout Worcestershire.

WCBL Development Director Tom Hill said: "The Small Grants Scheme has been running for about three years and we've always done pretty well for our local clubs.

"The grant is all about helping clubs to improve their facilities via a small grant of up to a maximum of £4,000

"It is to help with things like maybe refurbing the kitchen, energy saving schemes, wicket protection such as covers, sheets etc and aiding clubs with reducing some of their costs.

"For example, one of our clubs in Hagley has gone for a Water Harvesting System to help them water their square and save money on water bills, and irrigation, all of which can be used to perhaps put more volunteers through courses or for other club priorities.

"Last year we also distributed £45,000 of grants and we saw more games played last year in the County than ever before.

"It was something like 3,867 games of club cricket which is great news so it shows that the grants are working.

"We've again had 21 clubs apply this year for the grant and we have managed to be able to support them all."

Hill added: "The grants are to a) make sure more games of cricket can be played and also b) to ensure hopefully more people spend more money at our clubs, encouraging them to become more sustainable and self sufficient.

"If they have better kitchen facilities or bar facilities, which some of the clubs received grants for, more people are going to spend more time after the game there, spend more money – and the result it is a better, more sustainable club.

"We are really thankful to Waitrose for partnering with the ECB and supporting their grant which has helped us support 42 clubs over the past two years”