Village hall is a step closer

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GOREFIELD is one step closer to having a new £235,000 village hall after receiving £50,000 of Olympic legacy funding from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities Fund.

The parish council is now just waiting with bated breath to find out whether their last grant – £50,000 of funding from Fenland District Council – will come through at the end of the month. If their final bid is successful, work could start on the new community centre as early as September.

The plan is to build a new Community Hall and Sports pavilion on the village playing field, to replace the outdated pavilion that was damaged by fire in recent years.

The new hall will include a multi-use community hall, modern changing facilities, kitchen and bar, separate toilets, foyer and storage space.

Parish council chairman Michael Humphrey said: “We are delighted to have secured this investment, which means we move ever closer to the required total. The new facility and location will not only provide a safe environment but the range of potential services and a flexible building design will promote future growth and sustainability and, in particular, encourage social interaction and cohesion together with additional opportunity for better health and sports recreation.”

Fundraising has been on-going since 1991 and £64,000 has been raised locally by the original fundraising group and, in recent years, the parish council. A total of £50,000 has already been allocated by FDC and £21,000 has come from insurance money.

The latest news also pleased local MP Stephen Barclay, who said: “I discussed with Hugh Robertson, the Olympics minister, the need to ensure that legacy money from the Olympics found its way to rural communities and this announcement shows that the government is honouring its pledge to do so.

“Sport plays a crucial role in community life and as someone who has had a lifelong passion for sport, I am delighted that we will be able to improve facilities in Gorefield so significantly.

“This grant follows tireless work by Michael Humphrey and his committee and will also send a positive message to other schemes at an earlier stage of their bids.”