Financial Leg-up For Soham Recreation Ground

PUBLISHED: 08:36 03 March 2009 | UPDATED: 10:46 04 May 2010

A MAJOR redevelopment of Soham recreation ground has been given a financial leg up. Replacement of dilapidated scout and guide huts on Soham recreation ground is one step closer thanks to a £158,000 grant. A total of £230,000 of money obtained from devel

A MAJOR redevelopment of Soham recreation ground has been given a financial leg up.

Replacement of dilapidated scout and guide huts on Soham recreation ground is one step closer thanks to a £158,000 grant. A total of £230,000 of money obtained from developers is to be used to fund new play equipment for children in the town.

Teenagers are due to get their own skating area, and a major redevelopment of the Walter Gidney Pavilion is being discussed by Soham's councillors.

Confirmation of the East Cambs District Council grant was announced last week to the Scout and Guide Hut committee, who have been fund-raising for two years to get their £350,000 project off the ground.

Designs for the hut were rejected by planning officials last year - but councillors emphasised that they unanimously supported a redesign.

The Scouts and Guides have also applied for a £100,000 lottery grant, £40,000 from the county council's waste management partner Donarbon, and raised more than £20,000 through their own activities.

James Palmer, a Soham town councillor who remembers using the dilapidated huts in his youth, said: "In all, there is around £230,000 of funding from East Cambs for the redevelopment of the recreation ground. With the plans the town council have to redevelop the Pavilion we could be seeing a completely new look for the area, and not before time. The huts are wartime barracks, I think, and they weren't fit for purpose even when I was using them."

"I have every faith that the [scout and guide hut] committee will find the remaining £150,000 - he said.

Cllr Palmer added that Soham's younger contingent would have the chance to decide on new play equipment and skating facilities, possibly via the Soham Action For Youth forum.

"It's no good us old fogeys deciding what we want kids to use when they know perfectly well what they want. As long as it's in budget, they will decide," he told the Ely Standard.

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