WORK has started at last on a new sports pavilion for a Sheffield village – replacing the original which was washed away in the great floods of 2007.
It has taken five years of fundraising to get the project at the Oughtibridge War Memorial Sports Ground up and running.
VIP guests at the launch of the construction work included Lord Mayor Coun Sylvia Dunkley, chair of Bradfield Parish Council Karen Southwood, former Sheffield Wednesday striker John Pearson and Sheffield United’s Mark Todd.
The new facility off Waterside Gardens will mean players will no longer have to put up with unsuitable temporary accommodation.
Because of the problems the cricket club was threatened with ejection from its league, two teams disbanded and complete closure was a real possibility.
Ian Sanderson, chair of Oughtibridge and District Community Association, said his organisation had acted quickly to provide the final significant financial donation.
“Oughtibridge came very close to losing an integral part of its community that has been in existence since 1921,” he said.
“If it wasn’t down to the dedication shown by volunteers and its trustees over the last five years, the facility would have been lost.
“Through this period junior teams have gone, the threat of ejection from the league and the prevention from promotion due to inadequate facilities have been hanging over the cricket and football teams.
“The new facilities will invigorate interest in the clubs and house a new large lounge that the community can use and benefit from.
“The sports club has invested in new infrastructure and there are now the funds in place to complete the shell of the building.”
Club secretary Steve Hill said: “New services and security fencing have been installed.
“Given the fate of the last pavilion, the new facility is designed to be flood proof with substantial raised foundations, a steel frame and stone elevations.
“We still require further funding to finish the internal fit out of the building, but with strategies in place and the continued help and support of others we are confident the project will be completed by the autumn.”
The initial building work is expected to take 13 weeks to complete.