£1.1m Marshland Hall set for busy opening week

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A new £1.1 million sports and community centre in a West Norfolk village will host its first events next week.

Residents in Marshland St James are looking forward to a varied and exciting programme of events scheduled for the first week of operations at the new Marshland Hall complex.

Highlights of the opening programme during next week’s school half-term (February 12 to 18) include: Valentine’s Day Afternoon Tea, a Valentine’s Ceilidh Dance, Rollo the Clown, farmers market, and various sport and activity “taster” sessions.

Villagers are also invited to drop in during the week for a tour of the new facilities and for refreshments.

The new complex includes a main hall with a stage, bar and sophisticated audio-visual equipment, a community shop and café.

There is also a second smaller hall for conferencing and seminar uses, additional meeting room space for classes, training, and group meetings, plus improved sports changing facilities – including separate changing rooms for home and away teams and match officials, modern showers and toilet facilities.

Andy Stephens, chairman of the Marshland St James and District Community and Sports Centre group, which has led the project, said: “The opening of Marshland Hall represents the culmination of five years’ planning and fundraising.

“All credit is due to the local community and local businesses who have wholeheartedly supported this project since day one by giving their time, by donating funds, and by volunteering to make the new Community and Sports Centre a reality.

“This marvellous new public amenity for Marshland St James has been secured for the community at no cost to the parish or the borough purse.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our donors for their generosity in recognising that enhanced community facilities were urgently needed for Marshland St James and the surrounding rural area.”

Parish council chairman Sue Askew said: “Over the last decades our village has suffered through a lack of investment and a loss of village facilities.

“The opening of the Marshland Hall sends a powerful signal that this trend is now being reversed.

“Marshland Hall will be a vital and vibrant community asset with unrivalled facilities – an enormous source of pride for the parish that will attract people to the village and greatly improve the quality of life of all its residents.”

As well as providing a much-needed community hub for village activities and events, Marshland Hall is also set to be a popular venue for private events such as wedding receptions and parties.

Situated on the Smeeth Road thoroughfare and set on the edge of the large playing field in a central position in the village, the centre is adjacent to the children’s play area and the bowling green.

It also benefits from a landscaped community garden and external seating area.

For more information visit www.marshlandhall.org.uk, or email enquiries@marshlandhall.org.uk for bookings.