£1.2m upgrade to Sprowston Diamond Centre could be complete by next year

Plans for Sprowston Diamond Centre. Photo Bidwells

Plans for Sprowston Diamond Centre. Photo Bidwells - Credit: Archant

A £1.2m upgrade to a community hub in Sprowston could be completed by next year.

The project will see the Sprowston Diamond Centre (pictured) extended to include a multi-use sports

The project will see the Sprowston Diamond Centre (pictured) extended to include a multi-use sports hall, changing rooms and new kitchen area. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

The project will see the creation of a new 3,000 sq ft multi-use hall at the Sprowston Diamond Centre on School Lane.

It is one of several new facilities outlined in plans for the building, which have now been submitted to Broadland District Council.

And should the scheme receive the go-ahead from the local authority, it is hoped construction work will begin this year.

June Hunt, Sprowston Town Council's clerk, said it was vital the work was completed 'as soon as possible' in order to keep hold of local groups already using the building.

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She said: 'What we have found is that there is a great need for larger rooms. There are groups which have been so successful that they are now at maximum capacity and need a bigger area.

'We have lost one group already and we are really hanging on with our teeth to ensure we don't lose others. We want to get this done as soon as possible.

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'Work will definitely start this year, and I would hope by this time next year it will be ready.'

The new-and-improved community hub will serve as a meeting place for youth groups, elderly persons organisations and dance clubs.

It includes cooking and bar facilities, new changing rooms and toilets.

A car park with 49 spaces - and three disabled spaces - will be built at the back of the centre and CCTV will be installed.

Meanwhile, the community hall will accommodate large group activities and sports facilities, including badminton courts.

Property management company Bidwells, which was appointed to prepare the planning application, said the scheme had been in the pipeline since 2012.

Ms Hunt said a consultation carried out as part of the town's neighbourhood plan identified a need for larger community facilities.

And speaking last year, Ian Moncur, town council chairman, said people had asked for a community sports centre in Sprowston for around 40 years.

While construction work gets underway, local groups will still have access to the centre.

Plans submitted to Broadland seek permission for a temporary 40-space car park off Neville Road for staff and visitors during the construction period.

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