Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 11°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs are coming. Find out more about

Pigs Gone Wild

here.

Lakenheath: Centre of Excellence dream could be over after funding requests are turned down

09:00 06 March 2014

Lakenheath Royal British Legion Club

Lakenheath Royal British Legion Club

Archant

A village’s ambitious dream to create a centre of excellence for the community looks to be over after their fundraising campaign was dealt two serious blows.

Both the National Lottery and Forest Heath District Council have this week refused funding to help villagers in Lakenheath purchase the old Royal British Legion Hall (RBL), which would have paved the way for it to be joined with the neighbouring Peace Memorial Hall.

There is currently an embargo on the sale of the RBL Hall until April 7, to give villagers the chance to raise the £120,000 needed to top an offer on the table from a private bidder.

While the fundraising campaign, spearheaded by Brendan Fulham, has secured almost £40,000 so far, the rejections from the lottery and council could put an end to villagers’ dreams.

Mr Fulham, chairman of the Memorial Hall’s management committee, said that Lakenheath’s growing community was not adequately served by the current facilities in the village, especially given the plans for hundreds more homes.

He added: “The will of Lakenheath villagers, it seems, will be thwarted at the 12th hour when we were so close to saving the old RBL site for the creation of a centre of excellence. It is not a king’s ransom we are seeking – just enough to buy the old RBL site for the village.

“If we secure the funding to secure the site, we will gain the breathing space we need to develop the next phase of the Lakenheath Centre of Excellence. “If we do not get the funding, we shall have lost forever a valuable piece of land which could be of such a wonderful benefit to Lakenheath.”

Mr Fulham is now appealing to the area’s county councillors for help, while Lakenheath Parish Council, which has already pledged £10,000 to the project, could call an extraordinary meeting to examine the village’s options.

County councillor Colin Noble said he was “fully supportive” of the project, but said that times were hard for councils financially.

He added: “We’re struggling to find any funding streams for them. They are being supported by officers and they are talking to other people in the community.

“It is an ambitious scheme, but a wonderful scheme, and would bring back into use a much-loved hall. But these are not easy times, and finding funding for these things is very tricky.”

A spokesman from Forest Heath said: “This has been discussed in depth and although we will not be supporting the group financially, we are still exploring other options to assist them.”

Plans for the new building included an IT and drop-in centre.

0 comments

Colchester General Hospital

An “exciting” new multi-million pound state-of-the-art department will be built at Colchester General Hospital as it becomes a regional centre for medical tests.

Suffolk fisherman Harry Simper

A young Suffolk fisherman has netted himself a national award.

Carol Turgoose with volunteers at the foodbank in Halstead

Opticians across Essex and Suffolk have given a boost to charities supporting poverty-stricken families in the area.

One of the walks takes in views of the river Deben

A walking festival is stepping up its programme of events for the half term week, offering something for all levels of ability.

John Popplewell with his 45lb stingray

A Clacton fisherman caught a “monster” stingray weighing nearly three and a half stone on an Essex beach this week – and filmed it all on his new GoPro.

The launch of Essex County Fire and Rescue Service's large animal rescue unit in 2009. Picture: Andrew Partridge

Firefighters helped to rescue a horse which got stuck in a ditch in Tollesbury.

Essex fire crews.

Firefighters attending a blaze in the basement of a Harwich home initially thought someone was trapped in the house.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24