Lottery win for Marshland St James group

Marshland St James committee behind plan to create a new community centreFLtoR Stephaine Reeve. Lorriane Boyce. Lee Chapman. Martin Peckitt. Colin Thompson. Brian Long. Joseph Gowler. ANL-150305-123028009
Marshland St James committee behind plan to create a new community centreFLtoR Stephaine Reeve. Lorriane Boyce. Lee Chapman. Martin Peckitt. Colin Thompson. Brian Long. Joseph Gowler. ANL-150305-123028009
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A West Norfolk village is a step closer to building a £750,000 community centre after its Lottery grant has moved onto the final stage.

Marshland St James and District Community Centre committee hope to be submitting a planning application after receiving word from the Big Lottery fund on Tuesday.

Members are hoping to build a new hall complete with shop and cafe on the village playing field.

The current hall and pavilion buildings are coming to the end of their lives so there are hopes to create a hub for residents.

The group, which has applied to the Lottery for £500,000, has passed its stage 2 bid and received approximately £21,000 to develop its business case, which must be submitted in September.

Trustee Martin Peckitt said: “It is fantastic news as it means the Big Lottery Fund are endorsing the project and it is significantly moving forward.

“I am very pleased that we have got to this stage and it is very encouraging.”

The new hall aims to fulfil sporting and community needs, as the village shop closed some time ago

A main hall with a stage along with a smaller room for meetings are proposed to be included in the new building.

The committee wants to include a shop and small cafe area within the new hall to help villagers.

Changing rooms up to Football Association standard along with hopes of refreshing the pitches on the site are also planned.

There are also hopes to create a youth club.

Mr Peckitt said: “We are working to improve the health and wellbeing of people in the village.

“We are also looking at ways of integrating the community so people don’t feel so isolated.

“We have also got to focus on young people.”

The committee wants to submit a planning application within the next six months.

If this is approved, building work could start and finish during 2016.

Mr Peckitt said: “We have got six months to develop our business plan to support the project.

“Once it starts to move, it will go forward very quickly.”

Committee chairman, Lee Chapman, has thanked businesses in the village which has supported the project.

The 11-strong committee began work on the project 18 months ago and has been holding fundraising events along with submitting grant applications to other bodies.

The committee will be holding a public meeting in Jubilee Hall at 7.30pm tomorrow (Thursday, May 14).

Residents will be able to view the plans and speak with the architect Russell Swan, of Swan Edwards.

For more go to: www.facebook.com/pages/The-Marshland-Community-Centre-Project-MDCSC/616224028399754