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C RICKETERS have been hit for six by a so­lar scheme to mas­sively re­duce their elec­tric­ity bills – sav­ing more than a quar­ter of a mil­lion pounds over the next 25 years.

Founded in 1824 Den­ton Cricket Club has a proud his­tory, but now the fu­ture is se­cured af­ter they rented out the club­house roof space for a so­lar ar­ray.

The 117 pan­els have helped cut elec­tric­ity costs from 14p per kilo­watt hour to just 6p – amount­ing to thou­sands of pounds ev­ery year.

The largest sav­ings for the 200-mem­ber Lan­cashire County League Club will be made af­ter two decades as the deal with the in­vestors who fit­ted the so­lar ar­ray for free will have run out.

John Fox­all, sec­re­tary and trea­surer at the club, that once had West In­dian leg­end Mal­colm Mar­shall as their pro, said: “We are the fifth old­est cricket club in the UK and we’ve a his­tory go­ing back 191 years.

“But though we’ve had a great past, we are al­ways look­ing to the fu­ture. We have three se­nior teams play­ing in the Lan­cashire County League, five ju­nior teams, one foot­ball team, two pool teams and two darts teams.

“Util­ity bills can close clubs and the over­heads to run this place are enor­mous. The sav­ing over the next 25 years helps se­cure the fu­ture of the club.”

Den­ton pres­i­dent Bob Hal­lows, 74, added: ‘Th­ese free fit so­lar ar­rays are fan­tas­tic for sports clubs, but also bril­liant for or­di­nary busi­nesses.

“It’s a win, win sit­u­a­tion and you don’t get many of those in a cricket match let alone in life.”

Nick Blashill, a direc­tor of Green En­ergy Com­mer­cial which fit­ted the pan­els, said: “It’s not cricket the way the big en­ergy com­pa­nies keep push­ing their prices up, but for club’s like Den­ton we’re able to se­cure a deal that has bowled them over.

“It’s a no brainer for sports clubs and for busi­nesses – we can en­sure they fix their elec­tric­ity bill and the free fit sys­tems can save them a for­tune over the life­time of the deal.”

●● Bob Hal­lows, pres­i­dent of Den­ton Cricket Club, and trea­surer and sec­re­tary John Fox­all, on the club­house roof, which has been fit­ted with so­lar pan­els – sav­ing the club thou­sands of pounds a year

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