Sunset Rooms in Wisbech St Mary transformed into £150,000 indoor sports centre

PUBLISHED: 12:54 11 September 2017 | UPDATED: 12:54 11 September 2017

Wisbech St Mary indoor sports facility: left to right Dave Parrin, Paul Albutt, Martin Holmes

Wisbech St Mary indoor sports facility: left to right Dave Parrin, Paul Albutt, Martin Holmes

Archant

Work to transform the Sunset Rooms into a £150,000 indoor sports centre has been completed.

Wisbech St Mary indoor sports facility: left to right Dave Parrin, Paul Albutt, Martin HolmesWisbech St Mary indoor sports facility: left to right Dave Parrin, Paul Albutt, Martin Holmes

The facility, brought by The Wisbech St Mary Sports & Community Centre committee with help from The Hudson Trust, will enable people to play football, volleyball, basketball, table tennis and netball when it opens on October 2.

Paul Albutt, chairman of trustees, said: “We wanted to produce a new facility for the benefit of the village and surrounding areas that would improve people’s lives through sport and recreation.

Wisbech St Mary indoor sports facility: left to right Dave Parrin, Paul Albutt, Martin HolmesWisbech St Mary indoor sports facility: left to right Dave Parrin, Paul Albutt, Martin Holmes

“We’re trying to help people remain active within our communities. It’s another improvement to Wisbech St Mary and the surrounding areas - something that will be open for use to all of the community, young people and those at the more mature end of the spectrum.

“We’ve managed to turn something round within a 12-week period from being a building that was not usable to a fantastic addition to what we’ve already got.”

Wisbech St Mary indoor sports facility: left to right Dave Parrin, Paul Albutt, Martin HolmesWisbech St Mary indoor sports facility: left to right Dave Parrin, Paul Albutt, Martin Holmes

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,” added Mr Albutt.

Wisbech St Mary indoor sports facility: left to right Dave Parrin, Paul Albutt, Martin HolmesWisbech St Mary indoor sports facility: left to right Dave Parrin, Paul Albutt, Martin Holmes

“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.

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

Wisbech St Mary indoor sports facility: left to right Dave Parrin, Paul Albutt, Martin HolmesWisbech St Mary indoor sports facility: left to right Dave Parrin, Paul Albutt, Martin Holmes

“They were very generous to us with a sizeable amount of the purchase price,” said Mr Albutt.

“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 earlier this year, 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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