Charity-run Wensum Sports Centre in Norwich launches £100,000 fundraising drive for new roof

Wensum Sports Centre. Picture: Wensum Sports Centre

Wensum Sports Centre. Picture: Wensum Sports Centre - Credit: Archant

The team at a Norwich sports centre hope the people power that saved it five years ago can help it raise the £100,000 it desperately needs for a new roof.

People playing at Wensum Sports Centre and the roof that needs replacing. Picture: Wensum Sports Cen

People playing at Wensum Sports Centre and the roof that needs replacing. Picture: Wensum Sports Centre - Credit: Archant

Those behind the charity-run Wensum Sports Centre, on King Street, hope to raise the cash to replace its roof, which they say is in 'dire' need of repairs.

Though the team has recently celebrated a new 20-year lease for the 1960s centre, this summer's downpours have seen the courts flood, making play dangerous and forcing the centre to cancel bookings.

Sarah Medler, its manager, said: 'We just want to be able to replace it with one that is fully watertight - it would mean we wouldn't have to cancel our bookings, maintenance would be easier, the centre would be safer for users and we'd be more energy efficient.

'It would be really significant - and would help us stay open and allow the wider community to access sport.'

People playing sport at Wensum Sport Centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

People playing sport at Wensum Sport Centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

In 2010, Norfolk County Council announced plans to close the hall, then Wensum Lodge Sports Hall, saying maintenance costs made it too expensive to keep open.

But the Friends of Wensum Lodge refused to let it slide - starting a petition to see it kept open and eventually taking out a lease themselves. It opened, renamed and revamped, in 2012.

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Since, the centre, now run by the Wensum Sports Centre Charitable Association, has thrived, becoming a profitable community space with more than 1,300 active members.

Mrs Medler said: 'We opened in 2012 and in the five years since we have gone from strength to strength.

Wensum Sport Centre medals. PIcture: Wensum Sports Centre

Wensum Sport Centre medals. PIcture: Wensum Sports Centre - Credit: Archant

'We're usually fully booked every week day evening, we've become very popular which is why this is so important.'

She said they hope to use the £100,000 alongside potential grant funding.

If successful, she said it would enable them to move onto repairs in other parts of the centre, such as its floors.

Over the last few months, the centre has held celebration games to mark its new lease, with various competitions being held over weekends.

If you would like to donate, click here.

To find out more about the centre, click here.

• Do you have a story we should be writing about? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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