£15,000 grant hopes for all-weather sports area in Sheringham

PUBLISHED: 10:40 13 January 2013 | UPDATED: 18:05 14 January 2013

Sheringham Sports Association committee members.

Sheringham Sports Association committee members.


Thousands of pounds could be awarded to an ambitious project to create an all-weather sports area in Sheringham.

The North Norfolk Big Society Fund grant application was made by Sheringham and District Sports Association (SDSA) and members of North Norfolk District Council’s (NNDC) cabinet have backed the proposal to award £15,000 to the £113,000 project.

If given the go-ahead, by NNDC’s chief executive and the cabinet member for localism and the Big Society, the under-used floodlit tennis courts off Weybourne Road could be transformed by winter this year.

Chairman of the SDSA Charles Sanders said: “This is a long-running issue in Sheringham. We don’t have any all-weather facilities in Sheringham whatsoever. When the winter time comes people either go to Cromer or Holt.”

If built, the recreation ground which is leased by the SDSA from the district council, will be able to host cricket, football, tennis and basketball clubs as well as people of all ages.

The SDSA leases the building, which includes changing rooms, from Sheringham Town Council.

Some 200 children and adults use the recreation ground, which used to be off Holt Road before the Splash Leisure Centre was built.

Clubs include the East Coast Warriors youth football team, Sheringham Cricket Club and Sheringham Town Football Club.

Mr Sanders said the recreation ground would have turned into a mud bath if it had been used by sports teams this winter. He said the recreation ground costs about £20,000 a year to maintain, collected through club fees.

Mr Sanders added: “The new all-weather sports facility would be brilliant. The youth football team have problems getting kids to and from the training venues. Those who don’t have a car, or if they can’t arrange a lift, have to miss out. Even driving to Holt can be difficult for some in these difficult times. There are an awful lot of people who are not well off and we are trying to provide sport for all.”

He said there are future plans to allow wheelchair users to play sport at the recreation ground and hoped the all-weather area could be used seven days a week all year round.

The club could also potentially receive £60,000 from Tesco for the project, depending on the outcome of discussions at Sheringham Town Council.

It was agreed in October 2010 that the supermarket could demolish the former community centre and playing field on Cromer Road to make way for a new Tesco store. It has not yet been built.

A new community centre has been built at Holway Road, Sheringham, and a condition to rebuild a sports pitch next to the centre was removed last month by NNDC planning chiefs.

Tesco has now paid £60,000 to the town council to be used to provide extra sporting facilities and its members have three years to decide how to spend the cash. Options include a contribution to the floodlights at Sheringham High School.

If the SDSA does not receive the Tesco money it can still carry on with the £113,000 plan.

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