A sports ground is set to become a new cricket hub.

Waltham Forest Council has partnered with the England and Wales Cricket Board to transform Leyton Cricket Ground into a world-class cricket hub for professional matches and for local residents to get involved.

The Leyton County Ground Main Sports Hall will be fully refurbished in time for this summer’s ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.

The project forms part of the England and Wales Cricket Board South Asian Action Plan, which aims to better engage with South Asian communities with the sport.

Research shows that between 24 and 28 per cent of the local population who live within a 30 minute walk or drive of the site have South Asian heritage.

The project will be funded with an investment of £450,000 from the cricket board which will be matched by the council.

England and Wales Cricket Board head of participation Bruce Cruse said: “The new Urban Cricket Centre at Leyton will empower local communities to have the opportunity to play the game in a way and at times that suits them.

“Our South Asian Action Plan includes a commitment to providing access to cricketing facilities in inner-city areas across the country and projects like this are a key part of our plans to grow the game, get a bat and ball in more hands and ensure that cricket is a sport that is accessible for everyone.”

The development of the Leyton Cricket Ground Main Sports Hall is the first stage of the project, which will also see the George Mitchell Arts Centre refurbished by September.

Waltham Forest Cabinet Member for Sport and Voluntary Sector Partnerships Cllr Naheed Asghar said: “Opening up sport to all of our residents means we can build a healthier, more resilient community where everyone has the chance to take part in sport.

“Joining a sports club or taking part in a programmed activity can help you get fit – but it can also help you make new friends and boost confidence. This exciting project in the heart of Leyton will provide an extra economic and cultural boost to the area as we celebrate our year as the first London Borough of Culture.

“I’m thrilled to see youngsters given the chance to thrive as we prepare to nurture the next generation of sports stars. I look forward to seeing the stars of tomorrow in action!”

Alongside cricket, the centre will continue to provide a range of other sports and activities.

The planned London Borough of Culture events due to take place at the George Mitchell Arts Centre during spring 2019 will not be affected by the project.

The England and Wales Cricket Board project will not impact on the plans for the Heritage Lottery fund-supported Food Hub project at Leyton Cricket Ground.

For more information visit: walthamforest.gov.uk/LeytonCricketGround