Watton Sports Centre facing five-figure bill after stand fire

A fire has caused serious damage to the football stand at Watton Sports Centre. Pictured is manager

A fire has caused serious damage to the football stand at Watton Sports Centre. Pictured is manager Lisa Savage. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

A sports centre is counting the cost after a fire burnt out a large portion of its football stands.

Emergency services were called to battle a blaze at Watton Sports Centre in the early hours of yesterday morning.

A section of the main stand was gutted and it could cost the club as much as £10,000 to replace it.

Lisa Savage, centre manager, said: 'It is very disappointing.

'It is very badly damaged.

'Obviously one of the stands will not be able to be used at all. Where the fire engine has come in it has torn up the juniors' pitch so they might have to go somewhere else for a while.

'We have been doing well lately, we have got a new license to open later on weekends and in the week which has made a difference.

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'This is a bit of a blow. It is definitely going to be an insurance job which means our premium will go up next year.'

A grass cutter was also damaged by the flames and had a neighbour not reported the fire it could have been much worse.

'The fire service said to me if they hadn't been called out the whole thing would have gone,' said Mrs Savage. 'A piece of machinery was damaged and that's going to be about £7,000. I think to rebuild the stand it is going to be at least £10,000.'

The sports centre is used by many local sports teams and clubs but in recent years had begun to struggle financially.

Football club Watton United will be one of the main teams to suffer from the damage although a number of clubs use the sports centre's facilities including Watton Hockey Club and Watton Rugby Club.

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