December 9 2013 Latest news:
Andrew Fitchett, Reporter
Monday, October 7, 2013
A village sports and social club has marked its 30th year of serving the community by cutting the ribbon on £64,000 of new facilities.
Nearly 200 sport lovers from young to old gathered at East Harling Sports & Social Club on Saturday to see how it has been transformed as part of the first phase of Project 30.
Showers, changing rooms, heating and more have been upgraded, replaced and revamped as part of the scheme to bring the facilities up to 2013 standards of eco-efficiency and sporting regulations.
Nick Jones, club chairman, said the facilities were something the village could be proud of.
“The building and systems were deteriorating badly and we knew we had to act quickly to avoid losing the whole facility, which is heavily used and widely admired.
“We had never been able to access any funding before, but sheer determination and team work has brought this amazing result, of which we can justifiably be very proud, and it will help to assure the future of the pavilion at the centre of our community,” he said.
Work was paid through a series of grants made up of £45,083 from Norfolk County Council’s Community Construction Fund, £12,892 from Breckland Council, £5,000 from East Harling Parish Council, £1,000 from the Harling 300 Club and £1,000 from Shadwell Community Fund.
The building hosts two adult football teams, two cricket teams, seven junior football teams, a running academy, a ladies’ hockey team as well as other sporting activities.
Plans for the project were only instigated last December, according to Mr Jones.
He said the club were advised to go for funding by Marion Chapman-Allen, Breckland District Councillor for Harling and Heathlands.
Mrs Chapman-Allen cut the ribbon on the building and said she had been impressed by the project organisers’ efforts.
“As ward member, I’m delighted that Breckland Council was able to help and join the impressive list of local groups and organisations that have funded this deserving project.
“As well as bringing the Pavilion up to date, the revamp will cut energy bills and leave enough money to keep on top of maintenance,” she said.
Mr Jones said the organisers would do it all again from January next year as part of phase 2 of the project.
Items planned for improvement and installation include a lift, double-glazed windows, insulation and improved balconies.