Beccles club urges shoppers to help secure top grant for sports facility
- Credit: Nick Butcher
The club behind plans to build an all-weather sporting facility in Beccles is appealing for shoppers to support its project.
Beccles Caxton Football Club has been named as one of the local groups set to receive money from a new Tesco initiative, Bags of Help.
It was set up to distribute money raised from the 5p carrier bag charge to environmental and greenspace projects.
And Beccles Caxton FC has been shortlisted for a grant of either £8,000, £10,000 or £12,000 - and is appealing for shoppers to help them secure the top cash sum.
The club will be using whatever grant it gets to renovate the old tennis courts at Caxton Meadow, to turn the area into a new all-weather facility which will also be available to other sporting clubs, schools and youth groups.
Club treasurer Mark Carter said: 'There used to be three tennis courts on there so it's quite a big area, but it hasn't been used for around 20 years.
'We are going to clear it and put up a new fence and turn it into a multi-use sports surface for football, hockey, cricket and rugby so lots of groups will benefit from it.
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'Clubs will be able to hire it out in the evenings and money from that will pay for the upkeep of the area and it will be free to use during the day for junior groups.
'We want to turn an eyesore into something for the community, because it's been sitting like that for so long and it's such a waste.'
And the club received some good news this week, with Badger Building confirming its bid to purchase half of the multi-use 3G surface at the old Blundeston Prison site. The surface was bought at a reduced rate from funds already raised.
Mr Carter said: 'The surface, although second-hand, has only had one year's use, so it is virtually brand new and means that all grant monies achieved can go towards things like fencing and lighting.'
All Tesco shoppers in Waveney can vote for who they think should take the top grant - with the club up against Kessingland Parish Council and Roman Hill Primary School in Lowestoft.
Voting opens in stores on Halloween, October 31, and shoppers have got until November 13 to show their support.
Customers can cast their vote using a token given to them at the check-out each time they shop.
Natalie Clement, community champion at Tesco in Beccles, said: 'It would be fantastic for Beccles because this is our community and it will add to all the work being done down there with the train station building, the Paws for Tea cafe, The Avenue and the skate park.
'And once they get their money we will be able to go down as a group to help them, either by providing tea or coffee for the workers or helping them clear the area.'