Work starts on new village pavilion

WORK has started on the construction of a new £384,000 village sports pavilion to replace one destroyed by arsonists almost five years ago.

Elliot Furniss

WORK has started on the construction of a new £384,000 village sports pavilion to replace one destroyed by arsonists almost five years ago.

The first turf was turned at Kirby Playing Field last week by Pat Morris, secretary and treasurer of the Kirby Playing Fields Association, to mark the beginning of the project.

Mrs Morris said it was a momentous occasion and great news for all those in the village who would benefit from the new building, which should be completed within about six months.

She said: “It has taken a long time to get to this point but it will be well worth it when the village has its new pavilion.

“It will be a facility for the whole community and one which is very much needed.”

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Arsonists struck at the site in September 2003 and since then football and cricket teams using the pitches in Halstead Road have changed in temporary accommodation as the bid to secure the necessary funding for a replacement pavilion continued.

Sporting charity the Football Foundation has come up with £151,000 of the target while a further £116,000 came from an insurance settlement.

Another payment of £110,000 has been put into the project by Tendring District Council, which owns the land.

There were also contributions of £5,000 from Frinton and Walton Town Council and £2,000 from Kirby Playing Field Association.

Pierre Oxley, portfolio holder for leisure at Tendring District Council, said he was delighted that the programme of construction had begun on site.

He said: “We have worked very hard to come up with enough funding to provide a first class facility at this site.

“The money has all come together and this scheme will help us to increase the number of people taking part in physical activity in this part of Tendring.

“Sporting opportunities will be improved in what is a rural area and - along with our partners - we will be able to deliver excellent community services to the residents.”

The new pavilion - which will be brick-built - will include anti-vandal features, changing rooms, showers, a community meeting room and kitchen.

It will be able to be used for a whole range of various activities and the partners hope it will attract new people to the site.

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