Village sports centre opens

PUBLISHED: 12:08 15 November 2007 | UPDATED: 13:04 04 May 2010

MP Jim Paice and Little Thetford villagers celebrate the opening of a new sports facility.

MP Jim Paice and Little Thetford villagers celebrate the opening of a new sports facility.

A STATE of the art sports facility in Little Thetford was officially opened by South East Cambridgeshire MP Jim Paice on Saturday after a 10-year fund-raising campaign in the village. Local tradesmen gave their services for free, and a management committ

A STATE of the art sports facility in Little Thetford was officially opened by South East Cambridgeshire MP Jim Paice on Saturday after a 10-year fund-raising campaign in the village.

Local tradesmen gave their services for free, and a management committee, staffed by community members, oversaw the project from start to finish and including laying pitches and building changing areas for football and cricket teams.

Chairman of the Field Management Committee John House said: "This day is a real celebration for the village.

"We have managed to build a first-class facility with two football pitches, a cricket pitch, village parking and probably the best set of changing rooms in the Ely area."

The project cost £150,000 due to the efforts of local people who donated their expertise, said Mr House. The project was also financed to the tune of £30,000 by East Cambridgeshire District Council.

Mr House said: "Jim Paice has been an excellent supporter of what we are trying to do in Little Thetford, always interested in writing to us at the parish council. He was therefore a popular choice to cut the ribbon but we were also delighted to welcome representatives of the FA and the Football Foundation."

Deputy chairman of East Cambridgeshire District Council Peter Cresswell also attended the event on Saturday, which included a veterans' football match and gourmet lunch.

In 2003, the land next to the village hall was bought, together with old allotment land, and set aside for sporting facilities.

The next phase of fund-raising in Little Thetford will see a netball tennis and football training areas built. The Field Management Committee has already raised £10,000 towards the project but the total cost will be approximately £100,000.

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