A CRICKET club has paid tribute to the public who have given “overwhelming” support after its pavilion was destroyed in an arson attack.

Olicanian trustee Mark Dexter described the “remarkable” response of people from the local area, and from as far away as Australia and California, following the devastation in August.

He told Ilkley Town Council around £20,000 had been raised so far towards paying for a replacement building. The club is hoping to submit a planning application by the end of this year and to start work in time for the new season in April. It is expected that work will take about a year to complete.

Mr Dexter told the meeting that although the wooden pavilion was covered by like for like insurance the club did not want to use timber for the replacement.

He thanked wellwishers for the way they had responded to the situation.

He said: “As you can well imagine it was a real shock in the first few days following the fire.”

But he said the response from the public had been extraordinary.

“It has been one of those things where the warmth of the community and the support - whether it be emotional or practical - have been quite overwhelming,” he said.