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Centre dream is now a reality

Welcome: Andrea Ball, Janet Robinson, June Bennett, Andrew Ball, Steve Bennett, Mike Inkley and Layna Walmsley

Welcome: Andrea Ball, Janet Robinson, June Bennett, Andrew Ball, Steve Bennett, Mike Inkley and Layna Walmsley

After 13 years of fundraising, the doors are almost ready to open at a new community centre in the heart of Walton-le-Dale.

When a dilapidated sports pavilion at the Queen Victoria Recreation Ground off Higher Walton Road was deemed no longer fit for purpose, members of public joined together to form the Walton-le-Dale Recreation Society.

Their dream was to create a facility that could be used by community groups as well as sports teams, and hired out for functions throughout the year.

Despite knock backs and vandalism, the finishing touches are now being applied to the building, which will be called The Queen Elizabeth II Community Sports Facility.

An official opening will take place on Saturday, March 22, when the public can look round between 12pm and 6pm.

“It’s taken a lot longer than we thought and there’s been a lot of hard work and stress, but we’re very proud of what we’ve achieved”, said committee member June Bennett.

She added: “We were turned down for National Lottery funding at the very beginning because they didn’t think we were capable, so we’ve had to do it all ourselves.”

Members then set about organising fundraising events, such as bingo nights, firework displays and summer fetes.

In total they raised £90,000, which was supplemented by £35,000 free labour and a further £90,000 in grants .

The building has been designed to a high specification, with a self-contained sports changing rooms and kitchen, a fully-equipped catering-standard kitchen with serving hatches, a main hall, a bowlers refreshment room with separate toilets that can also be used for meetings, and storage areas.

The roof also overhangs the walls to create a sheltered seating area outside.

Committee member Andrea Ball said: “For over 10 years, we’ve had nowhere for the community to meet.

“The bypass splits this area in two, but this building will bring the two parts together again.”

For booking information, visit: www.wldrec.co.uk

 

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