Bristol Baseball Club’s plans to create a centre of excellence at Somerdale Pavilion in Keynsham received a major boost today through a £3800 grant from Baseball and Softball UK (BSUK).

The club put in a bid earlier this year for the funds to help develop its field by adding dugouts, batting cages, a new back stop and additional fencing.

In addition to the BSUK grant, the club is adding match funding from its own fundraising, a Crowdfunding project and additional smaller grants and contributions.

“This is a major boost for the club, its members, supporters and for baseball in the south west,” said club chairman Richard Evans. “We want to thank BSUK for having the confidence to support us and to everyone who contributed to this project over the last few months.

The club boasts 88 members across four adult mixed teams, a women’s team and a youth section and hosted two weekends of the British Baseball Federation’s (BBF) national championships last season.

The club moved to Somerdale Pavilion in 2017 with just two adult teams and 36 members.

“As a player, I am really excited to see the club succeed in its long term plans to improve its facilities for the benefit of the players, supporters and the sport in the region,” said Jacob Bollinger, a member of the Bristol Bats.

The club will now work with BSUK and Somerdale Pavilion to progress the plans with the aim of completing the improvements this summer.