Council approves junior club funding

Ellington Juniors Football Club has secured almost £170,000 in council funding towards the cost of a new community pavilion.

The club, a registered not-for-profit charity, has around 170 members aged from six and up with some age groups so popular that there are two teams.

However  the club has never had facilities to call home and team have to play games wherever pitches are available. Training sessions take place outside the village which also makes it more difficult for the coaches, who are all volunteers.

The Club was gifted nine acres of land by Alcan when its Lynemouth smelting plant closed on which to build new pitches and a new community pavilion with changing facilities. Planning permission has been granted for three pitches, a 3G pitch and the pavilion.

The overall cost of the scheme is around £870,000, with the council’s Cabinet approving funding of £167,593 towards the new community pavilion. The funding will come from the council’s contingency to support grant funded projects.

The pavilion will include a kitchen, changing rooms, storage and toilets and will be used by the club and will be made available to schools, churches, scouts, resident associations, the parish council, other sports clubs and local residents.

Council leader Peter Jackson said: “After seeing the impressive work already done on this project we’re delighted to be able to help fund this successful club which has been carrying out excellent work for 30 years now.

“The new pavilion will benefit not only the club but provide a focal point for the wider area and help bring a new lease of life to this site.”

Cabinet Member for Culture, Arts , Leisure and Tourism Cath Homer, said: "I recently met with representatives from the club to learn more about the plans and was hugely impressed by their dedication and passion. 

“It is incredible that the club has raised more than £450,000 towards the costs and I fully support the investment from the council."

Local ward councillor Liz Dunn commented: “Ellington Juniors does fantastic work in the community and it’s great they’ve received this funding.  The late Cllr Milburn Douglas worked closely with the club and I have continued to support it. It’s great that all the hard work and effort will bring a lasting benefit to our area.

“The pavilion will be an excellent resource for groups both in Ellington and surrounding areas.”

Club Chairman, Ray Dunn added: "We have been raising funds in recent years to give our 17 teams a home base for playing matches and for training.  

“It is brilliant that the Council has recognised our efforts and has provided the extra monies that we needed. I can't wait for the work to start. Once complete, we will have facilities that will not only benefit the club but also the whole community."

Work is set to start in June this year and should be completed in four months. If the pitches are ready the club hope that the first game will be played at their new home next season. The club are continuing to raise funds for a 3G pitch.
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