Marshland St James villagers waiting for new on hall Lottery grant

Marshland St James committee behind plan to create a new community centreFLtoR Stephaine Reeve. Lorriane Boyce. Colin Thompson. Lee Chapman. Martin Peckitt. Brian Long. Joseph Gowler. ANL-150305-123039009
Marshland St James committee behind plan to create a new community centreFLtoR Stephaine Reeve. Lorriane Boyce. Colin Thompson. Lee Chapman. Martin Peckitt. Brian Long. Joseph Gowler. ANL-150305-123039009
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West Norfolk villagers hoping to build a new community centre will soon be learning if the plans will be receiving Lottery funding.

Marshland St James and District Community Centre committee are looking to create a £750,000 hall with shop and cafe on the village’s 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.

Members of the committee have applied to the Big Lottery Fund for £500,000 and are due to learn on Tuesday, May 12, if their bid has made it through to the next stage.

Trustee Martin Peckitt said: “To be at this stage is incredibly exciting. The committee has put a lot of hard work into the project and the interest we’ve had from residents has been amazing.

“If we make it through to the stage two, the Big Lottery fund will release funds that will allow us to progress the project through to the next stage.

“This project will provide services that will replace the things we have lost in the village over the years.”

Mr Peckitt says the village lost its shop some time ago and that there is no public transport passing through.

He 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 plans for the hall aim to fulfil sporting and community needs.

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 trying to put the heart into the middle of the village.”

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.

If the group’s stage 2 Lottery application is approved, members will have six months to go through to the third round. If all goes well, the group also hopes to apply to West Norfolk Council for planning permission to construct the building.

It is hoped for building work to start in 2016.