Arson-hit cricket club left ‘in limbo’ over rebuild work

The toilets left unfinished
The toilets left unfinished

A community cricket club which lost its club-house in an arson attack said it has been left with work half-finished after struggling to get a response from a construction company.

Aldwick Cricket Club lost its club-house last year and said it was told by construction company Galliford Try it would help out by rebuilding the club’s toilets and shower block.

Speaking for the club, Ian Guppy said the company started the work but then stopped and he has been trying to get in touch with Galliford Try for months.

He said: "We did an appeal and raised £10k towards our new club-house. We had a great response from different people. We knew that the building next door to Butlin’s was being done [by Galliford Try]." Ian said he had been informed that, due to the impact of the new building — Chichester University’s new technology park — a certain amount of money had to be put back into the community from Galliford Try.

Ian added: "We took a shot. One of the guys that works for them used to play cricket for us so we already had a link and we messaged them."

Ian added that Galliford Try had been responsive and had seemed enthusiastic about the project. The company started the work, but stopped after a while with the job half done. Ian said he had been chasing the company for months and not getting any answers which meant the club had been left in ‘serious limbo’. He added: "We are a community club, we had something tragic happen to us and we now have a toilet block that is worse then when they moved in — it’s useless.

"Although we have had donations, we don’t have the money. It’s just a shame really because we are only small.

"If you start work on something you have got a commitment."

A spokesman for Galliford Try told the Observer yesterday (Wednesday): "We are committed to helping Aldwick Cricket Club get their facilities in good order after the unfortunate arson attack. We have advised the club that the building works will be undertaken in the new year and complete prior to the season starting.

"We apologise we haven’t been able to complete these works sooner."