Work has started to bridge the gap between a village’s dream to build a new £700,000 sports and community centre and the reality of seeing it completed.
Parish councillors in South Creake have provided £66,000 to finance the building of a bridge across the River Burn, which will create a new access point to the long-awaited development, when the last of the cash for it has been secured.
Work on the bridge began last week and will take two months to complete.
Rodney Wakeham, chairman of the project’s trustees, said: “I’m delighted because this is the first visible sign of a project that has taken ten years to come to fruition.”
The parish council has already leased the land on which the centre will be built for 99 years to the pavilion trustees.
The pavilion fund is still £47,000 short of the total needed before work can begin on the centre itself, but the trustees are confident this too will soon be bridged. The total cost covers not only the building of the pavilion but also architectural and other associated fees.
Trustees’ vice-chairman Len Ringwood said: “We haven’t dipped into the pavilion fund to finance this bridge which will not only provide easy access to the centre, but also a parking area and the playing field itself.”
He said there was no other easy access around the perimeter of the playing field and the new entry will be off the main road through the village.
Tthe pavilion will replace the village’s War Memorial Institute which was conveyed to the people of South Creake for social and recreational use in November 1920, having previously been a mineral water factory.
Initially it was a popular meeting place boasting a billiards team and men’s and women’s darts teams with live music most Saturdays.
But its popularity waned it was permanently closed when refurbishment costs made maintaining the institute unviable. It was eventually sold to provide initial financing for the new pavilion fund.