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New hall nears completion

PUBLISHED: 22:00 19 May 2004 | UPDATED: 04:54 02 March 2010

RIGHT on schedule, the £260,000 memorial to murdered schoolgirl Vicky Hall should be complete by the end of this month.

It had been hoped youngsters from Trimley Red Devils could use the pavilion for the first time when a Dutch youth team visits for a football tournament this weekend.

RIGHT on schedule, the £260,000 memorial to murdered schoolgirl Vicky Hall should be complete by the end of this month.

It had been hoped youngsters from Trimley Red Devils could use the pavilion for the first time when a Dutch youth team visits for a football tournament this weekend.

But Bob Race, chairman of the Red Devils, said the building would not be finished in time.

"We had hoped it might be ready for the tournament but there is still quite a bit of work to do and so we will have to hang on a bit longer before it can be used for the first time," he said.

"All the youngsters taking part in the tournament will have to change outside, so we are keeping fingers crossed for good weather!

"The floor material hasn't been put down yet as we need the floor to be properly dried out. Until the floor is down other fittings cannot be put in place. But huge progress has been made on the work inside and it is going really well."

The outside of the building on Stennetts Memorial Playing Field in Trimley St Mary and builders are now concentrating on the interior.

Outside, the old changing room, a battered portable building, has been demolished and a new car park created.

Mr Race said the trustees were now receiving many of the grants pledged to the appeal for the memorial.

Sums had recently been received from landowner Trinity College, Cambridge, as part of the college's community support, and also the Suffolk Environmental Trust, which distributes landfill tax credits as charity grants.

Trimley Red Devils will manage the pavilion, being built by contractors Heronbuild, and move in over the summer and start the next football season in their new home, with some of the best facilities in the area.

A grand opening celebration is being planned for the summer by the trustees – including Vicky's parents Graham and Lorinda – who led the fundraising, and aim is a special day in which Vicky is remembered and new building celebrated.

The club is also looking at how it will run the new football academy which is a major part of the pavilion project.

The memorial appeal launched by the Evening Star raised £310,000 – £100,000 from fundraising, and a £210,000 grant from the Football Foundation. Of the foundation's grant, £160,000 will go towards the cost of the sports pavilion, and £50,000 for the football development programme.

The pavilion will be used by hundreds of young footballers, boys and girls, and other sports players and community groups.

The Red Devils has more than 150 players from under eights boys teams to the under 16 team. The new facilities are expected to attract many new players, including girls' teams.

Vicky, 17, went missing as she walked home from a nightclub in September 1999. A murder inquiry was launched after her body was found a week later in a ditch 24 miles away at Creeting St Peter.

WEBLINK: www.footballfoundation.org.uk

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