Marshland St James Community Sports Centre given green light after £565,000 Big Lottery Fund award
Villagers in Marshland St James are celebrating after securing over £500,000 so that a new, integrated sports and community centre can be built in the village.
Building work on the Marshland St James and District Community and Sports Centre, which will include a main hall, community shop and café, meeting rooms and also improved sports changing facilities, can now begin after the Big Lottery Fund gave the village a £565,000 reward.
Sue Askew, chairman of the Parish Council, said: “This is fantastic news for our village. The new Centre will be a much-needed hub and central meeting point for our community.”
The new sports and community centre is to be located on Smeeth Road on land leased from the Parish Council on a 99-year lease.
It will replace the current village hall and sports pavilion, which are badly dilapidated.
The Marshland St James District and Community Sports Centre (MSDSC) committee is also offering an opportunity to boost funding even further by ‘buying’ the bricks that the centre will be made from.
Bricks can be bought for £10, with all money raised going towards the building of the centre. Those who donate will also be written into the centre’s ‘donor’s roll of honour.’
Lee Chapman, chairman of MSDSC, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded this major grant. All credit is due to the local community and local businesses who have wholeheartedly supported this project since day one by giving their time, by donating funds, and by volunteering to make the new Community and Sports Centre a reality”.
“Now the real work of building the new centre begins. We will need to step up our fundraising efforts still further – and we will shortly launch a Buy a Brick campaign – and we also urgently need more volunteers to help our small project team to plan and prepare for our grand opening next year”.
“We would like to thank the Big Lottery Fund for recognizing that enhanced community facilities were urgently needed for Marshland St James and the surrounding rural area and for awarding the village this major grant.”
Wisbech-based architects Swann Edwards have designed the new centre, and building work will begin in November. It is expected to be complete in May 2017.