TWO sports clubs in York are to upgrade their premises, thanks to grants from a fund set up to spread the Olympic legacy.

York City Rowing Club has received £29,874, which will be used to refurbish the boathouse on the West Esplanade, with a new toilet, shower and changing facilities.

Acomb Cricket Club has also been awarded £30,000 to build new outdoor net facilities, two artificial grass practice wickets, and a new practice cage, which will be built next to the existing pitch.

York Central MP Hugh Bayley met members of the Rowing Club on Saturday, when he presented them with their cheque, and he said he hoped Britain’s success in Olympic rowing in recent decades would encourage more people to take part.

He said: “York City Rowing Club will put the money to good use refitting the Old Boathouse. It’s hard work rowing and members need decent facilities to shower and change in after training on the Ouse. Britain’s success at Olympic level has created a huge interest in rowing and I hope more people will be encouraged to take part in the sport.”

Mr Bayley also said Acomb Cricket Club had “some great ideas” for the funding, and said he looked forward to visiting the club later in the year to try out the new practice wickets.

The funding is part of the Inspired Facilities fund, part of the £135 million Places People Play legacy programme, which is linked to this year’s Olympic and Paralympic games and which aims to encourage people across the country to take part in sport at a local and grassroots level.

Dr John Sparrow, the rowing club’s joint honorary secretary, said: “It’s very good news for us and it will allow us to offer more support for people who want to start rowing, for leisure as well as for competition.

“Our expansion over the last ten to 15 years means we have a large number of boats, and we will now be able to store some of these in the Old Boathouse as well as at our current boathouse on West Esplanade.”

Acomb Cricket Club secretary David Sykes said the “world-class” additions would be ready for the start of April.

He said: “We’ve always been one of the top ten cricket clubs in the district but we have struggled to raise sufficient funds to improve facilities, so we have had to make do and mend with the support of local people.

“This will be our first really significant funding and means we can expand cricket in the community, because the new facilities will be as good as any club has.”