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Helmsley residents urged to back sports club bid
11:35am Wednesday 30th January 2013 in News
AN appeal has been made for residents of a Ryedale market town to throw their weight behind the ambitious project to revamp the community and sports club facilities.
A key aim is to persuade national bodies to back the plans, which could cost about £300,000.
John Higgs, chairman of the recreation ground management committee in Helmsley, also revealed that a new internal plan has been approved in principle by the trustees He told the Gazette & Herald: “We have been revising the plans which have been passed through the North York Moors planning committee to ensure they meet the requirements of the clubs which use the facilities.
“We are looking to take that to the next stage but it will not be an issue from a planning perspective.”
Ryedale District Council has agreed match-funding to the tune of £50,000 a year over three years.
But, as well as holding a series of funding events coupled with donations, plans have been drawn up to approach organisations such as Sport England, the Lords Taverners, Barclays Bank and the Amateur Swimming Association which have funds for such schemes.
“We are putting a plan together to promote the site as a whole to such bodies and to show that the community is supporting our aims,” said Mr Higgs.
The panoramic playing field in Baxton Lane already has facilities for bowls, tennis, swimming, football and cricket, but various facilities including the pavilion are being upgraded. The aim is to enhance the use of the facilities for the whole community.
“We are trying to cater for all potential users of the facilities and to improve them,” said Mr Higgs.
The plans and money coming from a variety of sources will enable the necessary investment to improve car parking facilities, the children’s play area, lighting, drainage, signage and complete a much-needed overhaul of the existing pavilion to include new toilet facilities, improved community rooms, kitchen and bar facilities.
“The committee is keen to encourage the wider use of the facility for events or more regular uses including weekly playgroups, dance or exercise classes and would welcome approaches from any members of the local community,” said Mr Higgs.
For example, one plan is to provide picnic tables and a play area with more play equipment during the better weather so that people in the area can not only use them but see what else is on offer.
“We need to work together in the community to take things forward and to persuade the national bodies that it is a scheme worth backing,” continued Mr Higgs.
Talks have also taken place with the town council to see if an annual contribution could be made towards the improvements.
The pavilion has been re-roofed and an extension has been built but this will remain a shell until all the proposed internal changes are in place.
Larger changing rooms and separate toilet facilities for people not using the sports facilities, as well as toilet facilities for the disabled, are on the cards.
As well as seeking grants from national bodies, a variety of events is also planned including the fourth 10k multi-terrain challenge on March 31 – an event that raises several thousand pounds – a charity walk in May and a bonfire celebration on November 2.
“Local efforts are vitally important because if you can show that the community is interested that gives the message to the grant foundations that the facilities are really needed in the town,” said Mr Higgs.
He added: “If anyone wants to carry out some fundraising then please contact us.”
The person to contact is Carol Swift.