Celebrations in Marshland St James as community centre project receives £21,000 from Big Lottery Fund

Marshland St James, Community centre. Picture: Steve Williams.

Marshland St James, Community centre. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

A new community centre has moved a step closer after the project was awarded more than £21,000 from the Big Lottery Fund.

The news was celebrated at a public meeting in Jubilee Hall, Marshland St James, one of the outdated buildings that will be replaced with a brand new £750,000 facility.

The changing rooms will meet Football Association Standards.

Martin Peckitt, a trustee, said: “This is fantastic news. We very excited to get to this stage of the process.”

He explained their Lottery application has had to go through a number of stages already.

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With stage two of the process now officially approved, this has unlocked funds to support the next application for further funds and appoint professionals to support the project.

Mr Peckitt said: “This means we can now appoint an architect to help us develop plans and a quantity surveyor.

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“We can also get professional advice on submitting such an extensive planning application – the funding is such a huge help.”

He added: “We can submit final plans that will explain how the building will work, how it will sustain itself and what it will really do for the community.

“We have a great community here in Marshland St James, and we really want to provide an excellent facility.”

The entire project will involve demolishing the pavilion and the existing Jubilee Hall and replacing them with the multipurpose facility on the playing field in Smeeth Road.

A business model where profits made from the shop are ploughed back into the centre is also being explored.

The committee have spent the last 18 months working on the project, which has involved organising a series of fund raising events.

Lee Chapman, Chairman of the committee, added: “We’d like to thank everyone who has been involved in fund raising efforts for the building so far.”

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