Organisation aims to provide a boost for amateur sport

From left, Michael Hartley, Barry Fothergill, Emma Duffy  Michael Muschamp and David Perkins
From left, Michael Hartley, Barry Fothergill, Emma Duffy Michael Muschamp and David Perkins
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A new charity formed after a failed attempt to change the face of a landmark Lytham club is ready to provide a boost for Fylde amateur sport.

The Lytham Sports Foundation has been formed by a group of members of Lytham Cricket and Sports Club, with the aim of doing everything they can to provide cash aid for the local sports scene as well as improving facilities at the club’s Church Road site.

David’s late father, Bryan, and I were part of the group which raised funds to buy the ground from Guardian in the 1980s

The Foundation, which gained Charity Commission approval last month, has already raised £20,000 through donations.

Its first project will be to improve changing and other facilities at the Lytham club but officials are keen to hear from any local amateur organisations which need cash help.

Trustee Michael Muschamp, who is already a trustee of various other local charities and has been a Lytham member for more than 45 years, said: “This whole idea grew out of the aborted attempt by a number of members to put housing on Lytham Cricket and Sports Club.

“That plan would have meant losing playing surfaces and other ground to generate funds to replace changing Rooms, clubhouse and groundsman’s hut but was not approved by the Club membership at an EGM last year.

“Club chairman David Perkins, Emma-Jo Duffy and myself were part of the ‘no’ group, insisting that there was an alternative way to generate funds.

“David’s late father, Bryan, and I were part of the group which raised funds to buy the ground from Guardian in the 1980s.

“In my role as chair of trustees for a local grant-making charity, I am more than aware of the lack of funding from national sports bodies for local amateur sports clubs, particularly in wealthier areas such as Lytham St Annes.

“As the club is a ‘club of clubs’, Community Amateur Sports Club status for the main club was not possible.

“We therefore decided to form the Lytham Sports Foundation Trust as a charity with the intention of helping all local sports clubs, if requested, to raise money and the response so far in terms of donations has been excellent..

“Emma and I are the first Trustees and we will be appointing additional Trustees in the next few weeks.”

Michael, who is a trustee of Blackpool Grand Theatre (Arts and Entertainments) Ltd and the Vera Wolstencroft Children and Animal Charitable Trust which makes grants to charities in the Blackpool and Lancaster areas added:

“With the Foundation being a separate charity, donors are comfortable that their donations are ‘ring-fenced’ from the routine trading of the club, all donations will generate Gift Aid and save tax for higher-rate tax-paying donors and the charity will maintain separate funds for each specific project to ensure that the money goes where intended.”

• Any amateur sports clubs wishing to find out more about how they can obtain help from the Foundation should email mmuschamp@sky.com.