Village hall needs loan

A SUFFOLK village has been forced to take out a £150,000 loan to cover the spiralling cost of a plush new community hall.Coddenham parish council has borrowed the money to meet the £717,000 price tag of the facility, which is currently under construction in School Road.

A SUFFOLK village has been forced to take out a £150,000 loan to cover the spiralling cost of a plush new community hall.

Coddenham parish council has borrowed the money to meet the £717,000 price tag of the facility, which is currently under construction in School Road.

Despite receiving £435,000 from Sport England and £35,000 from Mid Suffolk district council, village fundraising activities have failed to cover the remaining cost.

The parish council will now have to meet the annual repayments of £12,000, which will be spread over 25 years.


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Michael West, vice chairman of the council, said he was "confident" village fundraising activities and future profits from the facility would fund this without using council tax payers money.

"Coddenham is a centre for villages around here and it has been for 300 years so we're confident we'll meet the cost of the hall, he said.

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"We shall engage in local fundraising and we shall pay it back when there's an opportunity."

The cost of the building, which will cater for various sports and functions, was originally estimated at £450,000 in 1999, but this has since multiplied.

Parish clerk Joy Smart said: "Once you mention the word sport, the expenses seem to go up because of the requirements you have to meet.

"If it was an ordinary hall it wouldn't cost so much but because it's a sports hall it has to meet Sport England's standards."

In a bid to claw back some of the deficit, the council approached Sport England for an increased grant but this was turned down.

The hall is expected to be opened in December.

What do you think of the facility? Is it value for money? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or join the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk.

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