�50,000 cash for Costessey community centre

Kate ScotterThe Costessey Sport and Community Hall, which is finally being constructed more than two decades after it was first proposed has been given an extra cash injection.Kate Scotter

A community centre which is finally being constructed more than two decades after it was first proposed has been given an extra cash injection.

The Costessey Sport and Community Hall, which is being built in Longwater Lane, has won a grant of �50,000 from Biffaward, a multi-million pound environment fund managed by the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts which uses landfill tax credits donated by Biffa Waste Services.

The money will help towards the building of the new �1.4m facility which will provide changing rooms for the sports fields, a new home for the parish council and a community hub.

Bill Dinneen, chairman of Costessey Parish Council, said: 'It's been a long, hard battle to get the Costessey Centre built, but it has come at an ideal time as Costessey is set to grow hugely over the next few years.

'The new centre will be right in the centre of Costessey as a whole. It will have all the latest modern changing facilities and all the modern needs.

'We are fortunate that we have managed to get a considerable amount of grants which have been very helpful.'

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Work on the project, which councillors first suggested back in 1987, started last September and is due to be complete by the end of April.

The centre, which is being built by Morgan Ashurst, will have three community rooms to complement the main hall accommodating 250 people, four changing rooms, kitchen and bar facilities, storage and toilets facilities and a lift.

Accessible by bus, foot and bicycle, it will provide a central meeting point for user groups, parishioners and visitors as well as offering a wide range of activities and services including coffee mornings and possibly after school club activities.

As well as funding from Biffaward, the scheme has won grants from the Football Foundation, Norfolk Environmental Waste Services (NEWS), Norfolk Rural Community Council, South Norfolk Council, Lafarge and the Department for Schools, Children and Families.

Cath Hare, assistant programme manager for Biffaward, said: 'Biffaward is delighted to support such a worthwhile project. The hall is a valuable focal point for the community, and this project will enable more people to take advantage of the services on offer.'

The centre is due to be opened officially on May 31 when there will be a community event to mark the occasion.

Community groups which are looking for funding are being offered an amazing opportunity to apply for grants of up to �1,000 as part of the Sport Relief Community Cash initiative.

The Evening News has teamed up with Sport Relief, a fundraising initiative of Comic Relief, and Norfolk Community Foundation, to offer small organisations a slice of �62,500.

To find out more, go to www.eveningnews24.co.uk