Suffolk communities celebrate money win

TWO projects which hope to transform communities in Suffolk were celebrating today after winning a public vote and gaining the funding they need.Villagers in Sproughton and Gipping Valley Angling Club both successfully convinced viewers of the Big Lottery People's Millions Awards that their plans deserved support.

TWO projects which hope to transform communities in Suffolk were celebrating today after winning a public vote and gaining the funding they need.

Villagers in Sproughton and Gipping Valley Angling Club both successfully convinced viewers of the Big Lottery People's Millions Awards that their plans deserved support.

On Friday Sproughton parish councillors discovered they would get a lottery grant of £50,000 so their grade II listed tithe barn can be refurbished.

Rosalind Lavington, vice-chairman of Sproughton Parish Council, said: “I am so happy. Our dreams are being realised.


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“At the moment the barn is in the hands of the people of Sproughton and now it will be able to stay that way because we'll be able to improve the income from the barn once the improvements are made.”

Mrs Lavington said that the work to install a kitchen, inside toilet and small meeting room, would begin in January and take six months.

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She added: “We had a tremendous amount of support for our project from the whole village and even from people who live abroad and heard about our endeavours.

“We have been working on this project since October 2003 and now we've been successful we want to do something about the barn's heating.”

Gipping Valley Angling Club, together with the Environment Agency, also successfully presented its plans to the public.

The project involves creating two freshwater fishing lakes which will be fully accessible to wheelchair users thanks to platforms which allow them to drive to the water's edge.

Ian Wood, chairman of the Gipping Valley Angling Club, said: “I am really grateful to the public for voting for us, it is so fantastic that we are getting the money.

“The project we were up against was also very good so I was surprised to win.

“I think what tipped it in our favour is that our project will make a difference to the lives of disabled people and children.”

Work on the project has already started thanks to a £10,000 grant from the Environment Agency and voluntary work.

Now that the lottery money is secured Mr Wood said he hopes the facility will be open to the public in early spring.

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