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Neglected building given green light to be used as sports facility for students
A LONG-AWAITED re-vamp of a jewel in Worcester’s sporting crown has been given the green light by councillors.
Work to transform the old Cinderella Sports Gro-und, in St John’s, can finally get under way after the city’s planning committee unanimously backed the project.
The derelict site, off Bransford Road, dates back to the 1870s when it was a former home of Worcestershire County Cricket Club.
Worcester College of Technology will renovate the facility and bring it back into use for students, as well as being a possible venue for St John’s Colts youth football club.
During the planning committee debate, politicians described the landmark’s current condition as a “disgrace”.
Councillor Roger Berry said: “This site has been a disgrace for 10 years – and it’s a great credit to the council’s staff that they’ve managed to come up with a useful scheme for it.
“It’s disgraceful how it’s been allowed to get into that state. Well done to all the staff for putting this hard work in.”
Councillor Derek Prod-ger, who represents the area, said: “There is huge importance over this scheme – the land has been neglected for a decade or more.
“The fact the building itself is just about standing tells you a lot about its condition.
“Residents around there have become very anxious about it, and I fully support the application – let’s get it done.”
The college will build a one-storey extension to the structure for changing rooms and shower facilities.
Thirty car parking spaces will also be created, on a patch of land directly east of the ground.
During a vote on the development, it was voted through unanimously.
The former Kay and Co site, owned by Arndale Property, has not been used for sport for eight years.
The name Cinderella Ground originated from the workers at the old Willis’s Cinderella Shoe Factory, who used the facilities in the early 1900s.
It’s also the site of a number of historic moments in county cricket history, such as WG Grace playing for Worcestershire in 1868, as well as playing host to Diana Dors when she opened a Kay’s fete in 1981.
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