ILKLEY Cricket Club has launched a £400,000 appeal to help it build a new clubhouse after the fifth devastating flood in four years.

A refurbishment programme had only just finished on the clubhouse in the wake of previous flooding when disaster struck again this weekend - leaving about ten inches of water inside the building.

Club president Richard Simpson likened the periodic damage to "death by a thousand cuts" - or a game of snakes and ladders.

He said: "We built a flood defence system which we thought would work. It was working up to a point and then the weather just became too strong and it failed."

Now officials are hoping the community will rally round to help them raise £400,000 to redevelop the clubhouse, bar and changing rooms following the latest devastation.

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Writing on the appeal page Mr Simpson said: "The Ilkley Cricket club was founded in 1850 and was a founder member of the Airedale and Wharfedale Senior Cricket League. We run 4 Senior teams and also 9 Junior teams in all age groups from 6-17.

"The club has seen league champion honours on 27 occasions and has won 19 cup competitions in all age groups. In addition, we are proud to be associated with an extensive list of cricketers who have represented both county and country.

"The values of our club run through all our activities, we focus on the development of cricket at all levels and ages and our focus is on participation and enjoyment. We are strictly an amateur club and do not pay players. We invest heavily in coaching for boys and girls of all ages.

"In particular, the club has an exceptionally strong junior membership, with over 150 junior boys and girls of all ages enjoying their cricket throughout the summer. With regular matches from April - September (as well as our prominent Friday training sessions), every year, hundreds of children and parents take advantage of the facilities at the ICC.

"Now for the fifth time in 4 years we must clean up after another devastating flood. On each occasion the clubhouse and ground were completely flooded causing huge damage to fixtures and fittings and undoing most of the ground care work on the square and the outfield. Whilst some of these losses were covered by insurance, a significant number are not.

"In order to continue to provide opportunities for our youngsters to get involved in our great game, Ilkley Cricket Club needs the support of generous and compassionate cricket supporters and businesses such as yourselves.

"It is for that reason that we have come up with our 3 point plan.

1 - Short Term - Get stuck into the 2022 season, business as usual.

2 - Medium Term - Enhance the flood protection measures and adapt the current facilities to buy time to raise funds.

3 - Longer Term - Plan and develop new clubhouse with the ability to cope with the changing climate and weather conditions.

"In many ways it would have been better if we had lost the clubhouse to the flood, however this is not the case, nor will it be. For this reason we are metaphorically suffering the death of a thousand cuts and therefore something must be done. It is estimated that the new clubhouse will cost in the region of 400k.

"Community clubs like ours can only survive with generous contributions from our sponsors and supporters. We would be delighted to have an association with your company in whatever form you should choose.

"Please give anything you can to help repair and rebuild Ilkley Cricket Club. We have been serving the community since 1850 and it is now our job to build the foundations for a legacy that will last for the next 170 years."