Sports enthusiasts and community groups are enjoying improvements to facilities at the Jesmond Ground – the latest stage of a decade of fundraising by volunteers at the historic ground.

Youngsters from The Rock Project were the first to use the Pavilion’s renovated first floor meeting room and balcony area. The £10K project included double glazing, automated sliding doors and refurbishment to make the facilities more accessible and attractive for community groups.

Rock Project organiser Paul Gibson said: “Our adult and youth music groups have regularly used the community facilities for more than four years, and appreciate the club’s continued efforts to fundraise for improvements. I just hope it’s not our rehearsals that prompted the desire for double glazing!”

And the pavilion and ground benefited from more than 40 volunteers rolling up their sleeves to achieve the biggest pre-season painting task in the last decade. Cricketforce 2018 organiser Peter Woodley said: “The boundary fences are so long that we usually do a proportion of them each year – but this year the volunteers managed the cemetery wall and Osborne Avenue – huge thanks to them all.” Local organisations Virgin, DWP and EE sent volunteers to join club members.

Over the 12 years since a campaign to keep the historic ground open, more than £400K has been raised for new facilities, including training nets, a new ground entrance and an electronic scoreboard. The recent scheme was supported by a sponsored 1000-mile walk, the Royal Grammar School, donations from club members and grants from South and North Jesmond council wards, the Sir James Knott Trust and the Catherine Cookson Foundation. Special thanks to Terry Phillips (Selective Imaging) for photography.