Fakenham, Reydon and Woodton celebrate sports funding

Three communities in Norfolk and north Suffolk have received a sporting boost after they shared a �130,000 Sport England windfall.

The grants as part of a 2012 Olympic Games legacy Protecting Playing Fields fund will be used to create extra sports pitches at Fakenham at Reydon, near Southwold and create a new playing field in Woodton, near Bungay.

And three sites have also been granted Queen Elizabeth II Fields status which will mean they be protected for developers for 25 years to mark next year's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

In Fakenham �30,000 will be spent on create a new pitch on a field next to the town's cricket club so the thriving club can build on its success.

Martin Turner, chairman of Fakenham Cricket Club, said: ''At present we have a four men's Saturday teams, two men's Sunday teams, four boy's junior teams, a girl's under 13s team and a ladies' team so there is an awful lot of cricket played at the club, more than 100 games a season, and our current pitch can't take it all.

'We have had a great season with the men's Saturday first team winning the Norfolk Alliance Premier Division, both Sunday sides winning their leagues, the ladies' team not losing a game all season and the under-13s winning their competition.

'This funding will really help us to build on that and continue to improve as a club and provide the best facilities we can for people in the local community to play cricket.

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'We are always looking to add new members and we will continue to work with Fakenham High School and we may even add more junior teams.'

In Reydon �50,000 of the Sport England grant money will be used to buy additional land at Reydon Playing Filed to provide extra pitches for Sole Bay United Football Club which has players aged from five to 50 years old.

The work money will be given to the Southwold and Reydon Recreational Development Council to buy the extra land as part a major project to expand facilities at the site, including building a new sports pavilion.

Chris Wright, chairman of the development council, said: 'The Sport England grant will enable us to proceed straight away with phase one of our major project.'

Residents from Woodton can look forward to decades of playing sport after securing a total of �50,000 from Sport England.

The Woodton Playing Field Association will use the money to convert arable land into a playing field, which will ultimately enable the Norfolk community to play football, cricket and rounders as well as other informal games.

Trevor Bond, a trustee of Woodton New Playing Field scheme, said: 'This grant is fantastic news as, along with the money we have collected at fund-raising events, it will enable us to level, drain and lay the football pitch with landscaping. We are honoured to be receiving Queen Elizabeth II status and now we will get our heads down to raise money to buy equipment to complement the facilities.'

Sport England's chairman, Richard Lewis, said: 'These investments will transform the local pitches where many young people have their first experience of sport.

'With all of the playing fields safe from development for at least a generation, communities can look forward to years of sporting enjoyment.'