MP Liz Truss digs in to mark the launch of work on the new £1million Marshland St James Sports and Community Centre
- Credit: Archant
The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, who supported the project in 2015 with a letter to the Big Lottery, wielded a ceremonial spade to cut the first sod of earth to mark the start of construction.
The event on the sports field in Smeeth Road was attednded by children from the village primary school,
The new facility should open early in 2018.
Ms Truss said: “Thanks and congratulations for getting the project to this stage should go to the trustees and organising Committee of the Marshland St James and District Community and Sports Centre (MDCSC): Sue Askew, John Askew, Lee Chapman, Martin Peckitt, David Gathercole, Sonya Gowler, Joseph Gowler, Brian Long, Stephanie Reeve, Rebecca Robinson, Thelma Wadsley, Jeremy Wilkinson, and Andy Stephens.
“Also to the trustees of the existing Jubilee Hall for their continuing support for the project: Gillian Fox, Ethel Cooper, Lorraine Boyce, Dia Matthews, Christine MacCallum, Joan Thompson, Colin Thompson, Glenda Webb. And of course to the parish council and to the borough Counci.
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“Thanks also to all the parishioners and local businesses that have responded so generously to the fundraising appeals. And also to the various grant giving bodies and trusts who helped with funding.”
The bulk of the cash has come from Big Lottery Fund capital grants who have given a total £703,000; Sport England contributed £65,000 and the community raised a whopping £27,000 towards it too.
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Tesco helped with money from its Bags of Help fund handing over £8,000. Proceeds of the sale of the land on which the old hall is sited has also helped towards the £1million total.
Representatives from the architects, Swan Edwards, and the building contractor, Walkers, also attended the ceremony on Friday morning.
the new building will have a main hall, community shop and cafe as wellas a meeting room space for classes and training and improved sports changing facilities including separate rooms for home and away teams.