School's lottery jackpot

A SUFFOLK school is today celebrating after a multi-million pound lottery windfall to build a sports centre. Holbrook High School, in Holbrook, is to get a massive cash grant from the Big Lottery Fund of more than £2 million is has today been announced.

A SUFFOLK school is today celebrating after a multi-million pound lottery windfall to build a sports centre.

Holbrook High School, in Holbrook, is to get a massive cash grant from the Big Lottery Fund of more than £2 million is has today been announced.

The money will be used to build a new sports centre at the 550 strong school.

The development will include four court sports hall, a fitness room and a dance studio with changing and storage. It is hoped building work will start later this year and will be finished next year.

Juliet Wiles, head of PE at Holbrook said she couldn't wait for the new centre to be built.

She said: "It is fantastic the pupils really deserve this. We should see a development in pupil achievement and a raising of standards."

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Mrs Wiles said she hoped the community would use the new facility by developing sports based clubs and societies at the centre as well as offering new courses such as yoga and martial arts.

Mrs Wiles said she hoped the centre would have a knock-on effect on the health of Shotley peninsula residents.

She added: "I would like to think the centre could be linked up with the health centre. There will be fitness facilities much closer to home than there are at the moment. This development will make a significant difference."

Holbrook High School headteacher Jenny Lee said: "Having a sports hall on the school site will not only increase the range of activities that we can offer our pupils and those in our local primary schools, it will also provide a much needed centre for community activities on the Shotley peninsula."

Activities to be offered include basketball, fitness training, aerobics, tennis, badminton and dance.

The cash, £2,034,604, has been awarded to the school by the Big Lottery Fund's New Opportunity PE and sport programme.

Roger Buswell, Big Lottery Fund project manager for Suffolk County Council, said the whole Shotley peninsula community will be able to use the new facilities.

He said: "I am thrilled to bits at the news. This is a very large project and it has been a long process, more than two years of work, so it is great to see it get the go ahead.

"We are hoping work will start at the end of the summer to be completed by mid 2006."

Peter Sugar, headteacher at Holbrook primary school, a feeder school for Holbrook High, said he was very pleased to hear of the announcement.

Mr Sugar said: "It will be good for us, we are only 200 yards away from Holbrook High, our playing fields are joined, we hope our primary age children will be using it."

Marion Leeson, chairman of Holbrook parish council, said she was unable to comment on the announcement but did confirm the council had supported the application at the time.

What do you think of the announcement? Should lottery money be used for schools? Is it high time Holbrook had a sports centre? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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