Legendary England batsman Graham Gooch has got behind a plan to transform a decaying cricket pavilion into a food market.

Waltham Forest Council has been awarded £1.5 million by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), to turn the Victorian, Grade II-listed Leyton Cricket Pavilion into a food hub.

The building will house a restaurant, café and training kitchen serving locally sourced food, while the historic tin hut and former dining room on site will become a market selling local produce.

Leyton-born Mr Gooch, who captained England and Essex during a 27-year playing career, said he hoped the project would help restore the cricket ground, in Crawley Road, to its former glory.

He added: “It's good to see Heritage lottery funding for a community project and providing food facilities can only be of benefit to the local people, I hope it's a great success.

“It is so important to create facilities for the people of east London and I'm sure it will be of great benefit to the community.

“Being born in James Lane, I think it is absolutely fantastic that funding is going to be put into an iconic venue for cricket in London.

“Leyton county ground was the home of Essex cricket in a bygone age and it will be brilliant for it to be restored to its past glories.”

The pavilion was built in 1886 influenced by Tudor and Indian architecture and the tin hut was built ten years later as a dining hall.

The site was the home of Essex County Cricket Club until 1932 and still hosted occasional county games until 1977.