New clubhouse rising from the ashes


Contractors have started work on Olicanian Cricket Club’s new clubhouse, 18 months after its former pavilion was destroyed in an arson attack.


The new building is expected to be completed in September and be fully equipped for the start of the Ilkley club’s centenary season in 2022.


“It’s great news,” said chairman David House “It’s been a long road back from the fire and the last 18 months have, without doubt, been the most difficult in the club’s history.


“A huge amount of work has gone on behind the scenes, not only to create a new building that is fit for purpose, but also one that complies with modern planning regulations,”


The new clubhouse will have a kitchen, bar and lounge area and will be able to cater for dinners for more than 80 people as well as changing rooms, showers and storage areas.


The design by Ilkley-based Horsley Townsend architects accommodates the fact that the clubhouse sits within the flood plain, something which led to the planning process taking more than eight months.


Property developer and club Trustee James Turner, who has overseen the project, said: “The design has lots of features which allow the building to cope with increased flood risk. Our old pavilion was never flooded but, in these times of climate change, we have had to allow for the possibility that this might be a challenge in the future.


“Several flood resilience measures have been incorporated into the design, including raising the floor level by 1.5 metres, and the re-modelling of external levels to accommodate any excess floodwater.”


The new building will be modern in appearance and the work is being done by George Alexander Properties of Cowling Hill, North Yorkshire. Joint owner Nick Kenyon said: “We’re excited and proud to be the contractor on this build. What happened to Olicanians was truly awful and we’ll be working hard to build something that the cricket club and the whole of Ilkley can be proud of for years to come.”


So far, the Denton Road site has been cleared, hardstanding put down and initial work has started on getting the utilities in place.


The Airedale and Wharfedale League club will play its matches in the 2021 season from temporary units whilst building work is in progress.


David House added: “We realise that having temporary units is less than ideal, but we hope that visiting teams will understand our situation,”

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