New life for village pavilion

AFTER years of fundraising Martlesham Heath's ageing pavilion is to be transformed into a state-of-the-art community facility by more than £80,000 of grants announced today.

AFTER years of fundraising Martlesham Heath's ageing pavilion is to be transformed into a state-of-the-art community facility by more than £80,000 of grants announced today.

Members of the pavilion's management committee have been working on an application to the Community Fund, formerly the National Lottery Charities Board, for three years and have just learned that their efforts have landed them a £63,643 grant.

This award, combined with a £14,000 grant from Martlesham Parish Council and £4,000 from Suffolk Coastal, will enable a complete refurbishment of the building.

Paul Firman, chairman of the Pavilion's management committee, said: "We are absolutely thrilled that we've secured this.

"The grants from Suffolk Coastal and the Parish Council were all subject to us getting the money from the Community Fund so this is fantastic news after such a long hard journey.

"There were certainly a few tears shed when we learned of our success."

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The money will be used to bring the hall into the 21st century with the introduction of an environmentally friendly lighting system, an induction loop hearing system and a new heating system. Disabled facilities will also be improved.

The Pavilion, built in 1980 by Martlesham Heath residents, is in constant use by community groups.

Mr Firman said: "It acts as a hub for the whole community. We get a real cross section of people using it and these improvements will benefit them all hugely."

This will be the first major refurbishment in the hall's history. All work is due to be completed by Spring 2004.

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