Building work to start on £1m Marshland Hall

Marshland St James District Sports and Community Centre committee celebrates award of �690,000 Lottery grant, 
Some of the committee and others involved in the village, celebrate the success
Marshland St James District Sports and Community Centre committee celebrates award of �690,000 Lottery grant, Some of the committee and others involved in the village, celebrate the success

Building work on a new £1 million sports and community centre in a West Norfolk village is set to start next week.

The new Marshland Hall complex in Marshland St James is expected to open early next year, following a long-running campaign to replace the village’s existing facilities.

But campaign officials say they still need residents’ help to sustain fundraising efforts and draw up an events programme for the facility.

Most of the funding for the project has been drawn from a £690,000 Big Lottery Fund grant awarded to the village last August.

Other supporters have included Sport England and several charitable organisations, as well as community fundraising.

Parish council chairman Sue Askew said the announcement was “fantastic news” for the area.

She added: “Marshland Hall will be a much-needed hub and central meeting point for our community.”

Project chairman Lee Chapman said: “We are absolutely delighted that building work is about to start and that our plans for Marshland Hall are being realized.

“We are very grateful to all our funders for their generous support and for recognizing that new and enhanced community facilities are urgently needed for Marshland St James and the surrounding rural area.

“All credit must also go to the local community and local businesses who have wholeheartedly supported this project since day one.

“Going forward, we need to sustain our fundraising efforts - and I urge anyone who hasn’t done so yet to donate to our Buy a Brick campaign.

“We also urgently need more volunteers to help our small project team to plan Marshland Hall’s programmes and activities for next year and to prepare for the grand opening.”

The complex is set to include a main hall, a community shop and café, a second smaller hall for conferencing and seminar uses, additional meeting room space for classes, training, and group meetings.

There will also be improved sports changing facilities – including separate changing rooms for home and away teams, and match officials, modern showers and toilet facilities.

Walker Construction Services Ltd, based on the North Lynn Industrial Estate, has been appointed as the project’s construction contractor.

It is hoped building work will be completed by Christmas.