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Power station axe to leave cricket club without home
DIDCOT Cricket Club managers are looking for a new home after it was revealed the town’s power station could close as early as next year.
Coal-fired Didcot A was expected to keep generating electricity until 2015 but now looks likely to shut in 2013.
And when it closes, its sports and social club that is home to the cricket club will also close.
Club chairman Paul Costello said the club, which has 175 members including 100 juniors, was now in talks with the town council in a bid to find a new ground.
He said: “The power station has been our home for the past 25 years so any move would be a wrench. But our third and fourth teams play at Crowmarsh, so a new site would allow all our teams to play together and this would be very beneficial.
“We have a lease on our ground for the next five years but we need to consider other options in case our ground at the power station ceases to be a viable option.
“We need to keep all our options open to avoid being a club without a home. We don’t know when the power station might want the land back.”
Mr Costello added: “We held talks with the town council in March and April to try to find a suitable alternative location for the club.
“One possibility is playing at the new Boundary Park facilities that will be created as new homes are built at Great Western Park, but we don’t know when those facilities will be finished and we have some concerns about the security of our equipment at a public park.
“Covers for wickets can cost about £4,500, with sight screens costing £3,000 a pair.
“Cricket in Didcot is very healthy at the moment but we need to plan for the future to make sure our facilities match the ambition of the club.”
Town council leader Margaret Davies confirmed the talks with the club and added: “A new bespoke site for the club could be the most likely option, and our land agents have been talking to various landowners.”
In 2008, RWE npower agreed that the power station would close in 2015, or when it reached 20,000 hours of generation from that point. The hours limit is expected to be reached next year.
RWE npower spokesman Kelly Brown said the sports and social club at Didcot A provided for the 250 staff would close when the power station closed.
She said: “The sports and social club is in an area needed for office space which would be set up while decommissioning takes place.”
Gas-fired Didcot B power station will not be affected by the closure of Didcot A and will continue production.