£4,200 for Hockerill Sports and Social Club lighting plans
Safety concerns prompted Bishop's Stortford Town Council to support a funding plea from Hockerill Sports and Social Club (HSSC).
Members decided to make a £4,200 grant from the Brazier Trust and pay for half of a floodlighting project at the Beldams Lane site.
It is shared by Bishop's Stortford Running Club and Hockerill Cricket Club, which have around 400 members between them. During term time, the facilities are also used by a new start-up nursery, Apple Green Montessori.
HSSC, which is run by volunteers, told the council: "The committee would like to invest in a new comprehensive floodlight system for the property to provide a safer and more welcoming environment for both members and the local community who are free to use the bar when it is open, or to book privately.
"In particular, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, people want to be able to socialise outdoors rather than indoors. Currently, only a couple of inexpensive portable floodlights are in place which are inadequate and severely limit the outdoor activities outside of the summer months.
"While we do operate adult coached running sessions, with up to 70 adult runners, in poor lighting conditions during winter evenings, we are unable to use the facilities for junior activities without adequate lighting."
The club has secured a quote for floodlights that are low level and directional to ensure "little or no" impact on neighbouring residential properties or the nearby bowls club.
It told the council it could not afford the entire £8,400 cost of the project because the majority of its funds are needed for "critical upkeep of the site and clubhouse in particular".
Most recently it has refurbished the showers and toilets and boiler and hot water system, and has a "lengthy list of upcoming work to ensure the facilities remain fit for purpose".
Cllr Holly Drake said: "This is something that will future-proof it and make it safer."
Cllr David Snowdon added: "I'm in favour of this application. I think it's a good application from a worthy organisation and a solid, good reason for applying for funding."
The council rejected a bid from Jacqui Smith Personal Trainer for £600 towards an £800 project to run free taster exercise classes at Bishop's Stortford Swifts Football Club, Silver Leys. Over 12 weeks, participants would be given the confidence to move on to other fitness activities, but members decided the financial evidence submitted to support the application did not meet their grant criteria.