A TYNE Valley cricket club that has long punched above its weight is looking for the funding that can take it to the next level.

Riding Mill Cricket Club is somewhat unfortunate to be nestled between the giants of Corbridge and Stocksfield cricket clubs - but after a sucessful year competing with some of the area’s best-known clubs, the team and officials are hopeful it can realise its full potential.

This season, despite the campaign facing significant disruption due to the coronavirus crisis, Riding Mill managed to finish second in their Saturday league - and treasurer Steve Kent has been outlining some of their plans for the future.

He hopes to bring in around £60,000 through sponsorship and grant funding to transform the club and allow it to reach what he believes is its full potential.

As well as improvements to the club house, including all new changing rooms, toilets, and kitchen facilities, the team have already been fund-raising for a new electronic scoreboard.

The club has already brought in enough funding to put in an outdoor practice strip on their ground.

He said: “We want to attract people to watch the games. Nobody knows we’re down here, so we want to raise awareness of that.

“We’re being helped by the parish council and Active Northumberland, so we’re starting to generate funding.

“Up until now, the running of the club has been self-funded. We’ve planned improvements to the club house, but we’ve had to dig the foundations ourselves.”

It’s hoped that the club will be able to start up a team for children through the ECB’s All Stars programme, which would open up more opportunities for funding.

They’ve been supported by some high-profile names, including former England star Mark Butcher and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

Club captain Andy Watson added: “We’ve got a cracking team. Last season we were nearly promoted, and it was mentioned that if we did, it may not have happened because the facilities aren’t good enough.

“It just needs some TLC, I don’t think it’s had that.

“We’ve got 30 regulars but we’re always looking for more players.”