Sheringham school and sports association battle to win £60,000 Tesco cash

Sheringham sports pavilion and recreation ground.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Sheringham sports pavilion and recreation ground.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC

Sheringham is set for a one-off sporting clash as two organisations prepare for a winner-takes-all battle to get hold of £60,000 of Tesco cash.

Sheringham High School. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Sheringham High School and Sheringham Sports Association are competing with each other for the money, which has been set aside to improve sports facilities in the town.

Town councillors will decide on Tuesday which of the two has won, with the cash being used for either:

? Floodlights for the artificial pitch at Sheringham High, which currently can only be used during daylight hours.

? A multi-use games area at the tennis courts at Sheringham Rec, which are floodlit, but the surface is currently asphalt and not suitable for other sports.

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The high school is currently putting together a business plan in a bid to win the money, and headteacher Tim Roderick said he did not want to comment ahead of the meeting.

But Charles Sanders, chairman of Sheringham Sports Association, said: 'We are trying to put a multi-use games area on our current tennis courts, which are in need of repair.

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'The area is already floodlit. At the moment all the youth footballers have to travel to Cromer or to Gresham's School for their training each week because there are no facilities at Sheringham.'

The area would be used for football, cricket, hockey, netball and other sports.

Mr Sanders added: 'We are really hoping that the town council will help us out because it's the main sports facility for the town.

'We are run by volunteers, and it would be great if they felt they were getting some support.'

He said the association had received £15,000 towards the £120,000 project from NNDC's Big Society Fund. If the organisation received the £60,000, Mr Sanders said it would attract match funding from grant-giving groups.

The money has become available as part of the deal that will enable Tesco to build a supermarket on Cromer Road in Sheringham.

Initially, the store giant was permitted to demolish the Cromer Road community centre and remove the adjacent playing pitch to make way for the supermarket - on the condition that it provided a replacement community centre and sports pitch at Holway Road.

The new centre is almost completed, but in December Tesco was permitted by North Norfolk District Council to remove the pitch to make way for overflow car parking.

The firm instead agreed to hand over £60,000 for sports facilities in Sheringham - with the town council charged with deciding how it would be spent.

Town mayor Doug Smith said: 'Sports facilities in Sheringham have got rather tired. The new skatepark has been a real boost to the town, and this money will be another.'

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