Sutton Bridge: Sports centre still possible

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HOPES for a multi-sports centre in Sutton Bridge are still alive.

It was originally hoped that a new sports facility could be included in plans for a community centre in the village but a cutback in funding put paid to that.

However, parish councillor Robert Middleton is one of a group of people investigating other options for the centre.

At a meeting of the council last Tuesday he said there are two suitable venues – the sports pavilion on the Memorial Field and the Methodist Church hall.

He said both buildings are too small to be able to house everything so they would work hand in hand.

Coun Middleton said both venues would require refurbishment with about £30,000 needing to be spent on each.

He also suggested that a further £40,000 would cover running costs for the first year until a committee could be established to raise funds and hopefully it would become self-supporting.

The parish council has £150,000 to spend thanks to a section 106 agreement made when the power station was built.

Of the available cash, £50,000 has been pledged to the community centre project, leaving £100,000 for other projects.

Speaking after the meeting Coun Middleton said there are a couple of schemes which the money could be used for, including the sports centre and possible plans for a new burial ground in the village.

The next step is to ask South Holland District Council, which looks after the cash on the parish council’s behalf, if the project is eligible for the funding.

At the meeting Coun John Grimwood said: “The first course of action is to get a definitive answer as to what we can use the 106 money for. It all hinges on that.”

It was agreed to write to the district council to find out and then if the answer is positive, hold a meeting with the groups who may be involved with the project.

Coun Middleton said the project is just one of many that is improving Sutton Bridge for residents and visitors.

He said: “There is the marina, which when it’s built will bring people in, and the new community centre.

“Co-op is building and extension and so is the Anchor pub. It’s all good news for the village.

“We’ve also got the Big Bloomers who are working hard to brighten up the village.

“It’s all very pleasing to see.”