New £170,000 indoor sports centre set for former Sunset Rooms in Wisbech St Mary

PUBLISHED: 15:59 07 June 2017 | UPDATED: 15:59 07 June 2017

Wisbech St Mary new sports facility: Martin Holmes, Paul Albutt and Dave Parrin. PHOTO: Ian Carter.

Wisbech St Mary new sports facility: Martin Holmes, Paul Albutt and Dave Parrin. PHOTO: Ian Carter.

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A new £100,000 indoor sports centre is coming to Wisbech thanks to the transformation of the Sunset Rooms behind the town's community centre.

Wisbech St Mary new sports facility: Paul Albutt, Dave Parrin and Martin Holmes. PHOTO: Ian Carter.Wisbech St Mary new sports facility: Paul Albutt, Dave Parrin and Martin Holmes. PHOTO: Ian Carter.

Renovation work costing an extra £70,000 will begin later this year, thanks to the Wisbech St Mary Sports & Community Centre committee which has bought the premises - with help from The Hudson Trust.

The facility will enable people to play football, volleyball, basketball, table tennis and netball.

In the mid-1970s landlord Ellis Plumb built The Sunset Rooms behind his pub, The Railway Bell. Throughout the 1980s, the function room venue hosted a number of dinner dances, bands and even The Joe Loss Orchestra.

“It closed and then became used as a warehouse facility,” said Paul Albutt, chairman of trustees.

“We have been negotiating for the last 12 months about whether we could buy it with the idea of turning it into an indoors sports facility for the village and wider community.

“We identified a need for the centre; not everybody wants to go to town. We’ve got modern facilities and we wanted to offer residents the choice and when they want to use it.

“It has to be something that will work and we believe that trying to get people into sport from toddlers to mature residents will be of use to the area.

“The building is fantastic really; it’s in good condition apart from some weeds outside which need digging up.

“We want the sports centre useable in 2017 and work will start as soon as possible.”

The Hudson Trust is a charity that was set up by farmer Alan Hudson, who donates the profits from his farms to the organisation.

“They have been very generous to us with a sizeable amount of the purchase price.

“We’re excited by the project. We think it’s going to be of great benefit; we don’t invest our money lightly. It’s been a thought-out project. The response on social media has been tremendous, too.

In a post on Facebook, Mr Albutt said the purchase is “another exciting addition for our village and another thing to be proud of”.

He added: “I would like to thank my fellow trustees for their continued hard work and dedication.”

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