Olympic success could boost pavilion project

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VILLAGERS are hopeful the success of the London 2012 Olympics will help kick off their attempts to fund a new sports pavilion.

Collyweston Playing Fields Association has been working for more than a decade to improve the sporting facilities in the village.

In 2010 members were able to open a multi-use games area in the playing fields, which includes tennis, basketball, football and Kwik Cricket facilities, having raised £79,000.

They are now looking to raise a further £300,000 to add a sports pavilion to the facilities already on offer.

Planning permission for the pavilion, which would include changing rooms, shower and kitchen areas, has been in place since 2006.

But the association concentrated its fundraising efforts on the games area until 2010 and decided to wait until after the Olympics this year to apply for grants and sponsorship for the pavilion.

Treasurer Jo Hemingway said: “This is the last bit of the jigsaw. We have the games facilities, we now need somewhere for teams to meet, shower and use a kitchen.

“A lot of funding closed down this year because of the Olympics. But because everyone has got sports fever from the success of the Games and people want to get kids into sport, we are hoping that some more funding will open up to help us along the way.”

This week the association secured a grant of £7,912 from the Awards For All Lottery funding scheme to go towards tables and chairs for its functions and a brand new website and computer equipment.

The website in particular should help sporting groups in the village and will aid the group’s fundraising efforts.

Mrs Hemingway said: “This grant means it’s going to be much easier for sports teams to keep in touch with players and to publish results.

“It will also help us promote matches and our fundraising events more effectively. I’m so grateful to Su Davies, the external funding manager at East Northants Council, for her support. Her advice was spot-on and made all the difference to our bid.”

Association chairman Shelagh Busby added: “People have worked really hard for the past few years, organising fundraising events which brought in a lot of money.

“But sometimes you need grant funding as well, to push a big project further along.”