£150,000 Church Stretton sports pavilion ready for play after 15 years planning
Report from Shropshire Star
It has been about 15 years since first mooted but finally a town's brand new sports pavilion is ready for kick off.
Deputy mayor Michael Walker and mayor Michael Braid outside Church Stretton's new sports pavilion
The £150,000 building on Russell's Meadow in Church Stretton has a total of four changing rooms, two referee rooms, a large storage area for all sorts of sporting equipment, a kitchen with serving hatch onto the playing filed and a common room with tables and chairs and even a cosy-looking couch.
Building started last summer, but the roots of the project go back much further, in particular to a "fund a brick" campaign 15 years ago that raised some of the money, but just not enough to get the project off the ground.
Now with the help of Shropshire Council, local sports clubs and business and the Football Association, the dream is finally a reality as current Church Stretton mayor Michael Braid and former mayor and current deputy Michael Walker were among those to take a first look ahead of an official opening.
Michael Turner, amenities and services officer with Church Stretton Town Council, said: "The old building came down in July last year and our plan was to have it open by November, but like a lot of building projects the timescale slipped, which was almost completely down to getting the utilities put in." He said he hoped it would be made available to sports clubs as soon as possible, with Church Stretton Town Football Club, Church Stretton Magpies youth football club and Church Stretton Cricket Club all involved in the project. We will accommodate as many clubs as we can," he said, "But the building is designed to support a range of activities. We're keen to have table tennis in the building and we are going to hire it out for meetings or even birthday parties because the filed could be a lovely space to spill out onto."
He said the building was also developed in partnership with Stretton Climate Care to help reduce its carbon footprint with features like energy-efficient LED lighting on sensors that automatically turned off when no one was moving inside.
Councillor Braid said he was happy to see it finally built after years of talking about it. He said: "It's been about 20 years since it was first decided that we needed a new building. I've been involved with it for about six years – sometimes you would wonder why you were having these meetings over it. But when the new town clerk, Marian Giles, came in she went to Shropshire Council and made a bid. She knew the route to follow where perhaps others didn't and that gave it sufficient impetus to go ahead."
He said it was "a fantastic achievement by everyone involved in making this happen. This has been a great example of partnership working in the town, and I would like to thank our sports club colleagues in particular, for their support in making this project such a success."
The new pavilion replaces an old building on the same site and has been funded by a combination of community fundraising, community infrastructure levy and funds from town council reserves.