A LAKE District cricket club's survival could hinge on whether or not it can construct a 'vital' new pavilion for the forthcoming season, according to its captain.

Coniston Cricket Club's pavilion is now beyond salvage, said Nathan Atkinson, and the club urgently needs to raise approximately £18,000 to build a new one before April.

Winter weather has rendered the existing facility unusable and if the club cannot provide opposing teams with changing rooms, it could be excluded from the Westmorland Cricket League.

"We've needed a new pavilion for the last six years and it's been getting increasingly worse," said Mr Atkinson.

"It's not safe to use, it's not big enough, and it doesn't meet ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) regulations.

"It could be that we have to withdraw from the league. If we withdraw this year we could lose players.

"It's vital we get this money now. If it doesn't happen, it will be the end of the cricket club."

With the Westmorland Cricket League set to begin the new campaign in April, time is running out for the club.

The cricket club has already secured grants from The Lake District National Park Authority and The Rawdon-Smith Trust - raising roughly £12,000.

But that still leaves them short of reaching their £30,000 total in time for the first new ball of 2018.

Cllr Anne Hall, South Lakeland District Council member for Coniston and Crake Valley, is among those pledging her support to the club. She has donated £400 of her ward local budget and also made a private donation.

"I think we will be able to all work hard to make sure they achieve it," she said. "My late husband was on the committee for a while but, more than that, going and attending some of the matches and seeing the young ones involved is lovely.

"I'm passionate about our cricket club when so many clubs around us have folded.

"It's an asset to Coniston. Not only in a cricketing sense but it's an iconic setting in the centre of the village."

To support the online fundraiser, visit www.gofundme.com/coniston-cricket-club-pavilion-fund