South Molton and Bideford rugby and cricket clubs to make ground improvements with £110k Sport England funding.

TWO North Devon sports clubs are celebrating major National Lottery funding windfalls this week.

South Molton Rugby Football Club and Bideford, Littleham and Westward Ho! Cricket Club will share more than £110,000 of Sport England cash for ground improvements.

The rugby club, which plays at Pathfields Industrial Estate, is one of 63 projects to receive a share of nearly £3.7million Sport England Protecting Playing Fields funding.

The club will use the £65,000 to buy land and create a new pitch for its junior teams, which regularly have to postpone fixtures due to water-logged pitches.

Meanwhile, the Westward Ho!-based cricket club is one of 324 sports projects to secure a share of £17million Sport England Inspired Facilities funding.

The club will use its £45,000 grant to provide safety ball stop netting to three sides of the seafront ground in Golf Links Road.

Club chairman Kevin Fishleigh said: “We are delighted to have secured this investment, which means we can upgrade the safety of our cricket ground to match the quality of our cricket coaches.

“It is the cornerstone of our strategy to have an outstanding club for the 2012 Olympics’ legacy.”

Torridge MP Geoffey Cox, said: “Without this investment there is a real possibility that for health and safety reasons the club may be unable to continue running, as there have previously been accidents where balls have been hit out of the field during play, sometimes causing damage to property abutting the ground.”