£360,000 sports facilities boost for villagers at complex

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FOOTBALL bosses have ploughed £100,000 into a scheme to improve sports facilities in a Doncaster village.

Officials from the Football Foundation were among the groups putting money into the £360,000 changing rooms complex which has been built at the Ryecroft Community Building on Ryecroft Road, in Norton.

They were joined by Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband who performed the official opening ceremony.

The scheme saw the new facility created as an extension to an existing building. Led by Norton Parish Council, the project involved the demolition of part of the existing building before construction started.

The new facility houses changing facilities for both sexes, as well as toilets and provision for people with disabilities.

The building is the base for a growing number of sports, and the new facilities mean the complex now meets FA standards. The scheme also saw the creation of a new meeting room, which can now be used for community meetings, team briefings and private events.

As well as the money from the FA-backed Football Foundation, funding came from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, which awarded a grant of £187,000, and The Veolia Environmental Trust, which awarded a grant of £38,000 through the Landfill Communities Fund. A loan of £30,000 from the Public Works Loans Board was also secured.

Mr Miliband said: “Sport plays a central role in helping people to stay fit, strengthening communities and promoting responsibility among young people. I hope the new facilities at Ryecroft Community Building will help it become a real hub of the local community for many years to come.”

Chief executive of the Football Foundation, Paul Thorogood, said: “On behalf of everyone at the Football Foundation, I would like to congratulate Norton Parish Council and the Sheffield and Hallamshire County FA for all the hard work that has been invested into delivering this project.”

Norton Parish Council clerk, David Telford, said: “The new extension is a fantastic addition to this well-used centre.

“It greatly increases the building’s potential and amenity to north Doncaster. Girls’ football is burgeoning at the club, with the community building hosting training sessions several times a week, yet demand outstrips availability. This new extension will solve this problem.

“It will also mean it will be easier for popular community events such as our summer family fun and sports days to take place. We are keen to expand these occasions in future years.

“The improved changing rooms will also allow tournaments in other sports, such as tag rugby, baseball, rounders and small athletics events.”