West Norfolk village Upwell raising funds for new sports pavilion

Work starts in Upwell, between Downham Market and Wisbech, on new facilities

Work on a new village sports pavilion has started - despite a shortfall in cash which means it may take another year to get it completed.

Members of the Upwell Playing Field Committee have had to start putting up the new facility in order to use grant money which might otherwise have been lost, but now they need to raise enough cash to complete the project.

The new structure includes a changing area for sports teams as well as a social area for meetings or parties and a kitchen.

Work on the new sectional building is up and running with contractors on site this week putting up the walls and the roof trusses.

Committee secretary Ros Shorting said around �30,000 of money given by the developers of a housing estate in the village had to be used or it would have been lost - even though the fact work has started means other streams of revenue may not be available.

'Cambridgeshire FA said it couldn't help because we were already starting - but we had to otherwise the other money we had would have gone,' said Mrs Shorting.

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The village also isn't helped by the fact that it is in Norfolk but has a 'Wisbech, Cambridgeshire,' postal address which causes issues when applying to various organisations for funding.

'We are in Norfolk - but the fact our address says Cambridgeshire makes things a bit more difficult. It can be very frustrating,' said Mrs Shorting.

Money has come from the Norfolk Rural Community Foundation in the shape of �10,000 and it's hoped a further grant may be available from the same source. Cash has also come from Wren, a not-for-profit organisation that offers help with community projects.

The whole pavilion scheme is likely to cost around �120,000 and Mrs Shorting said while there was enough money to make sure the building shell was up and weather-proof, the interior and finishing work would have to wait.

'We have a lot of fund raising events planned and have had a lot of support from local companies and farms, but there is still quite a way to go,' she said.

Events planned to help the cause include a pony show and gymkhana on April 7; family fun day on May 26; Party in the Park for the Diamond Jubilee on June 3; pony show on June 23 and a summer fair on August 5.

Regular car boot sales will also be held every Thursday from April 5.

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