Building work kick-off for football clubhouse
Work has started on a new clubhouse for Ellington Juniors Football Club.
It has never had facilities to call home and teams have to play games wherever pitches are available.
Training sessions take place outside the village and this also makes it more difficult for the coaches, who are all volunteers.
However, that will soon change as the club was gifted nine acres of land by Alcan when its Lynemouth smelting plant closed on which to build new pitches and a new community pavilion with changing facilities.
Planning permission has been granted for three pitches, a 3G pitch and the pavilion to accommodate the 170 members aged from six and up – some age groups are so popular that they have two teams – and the away teams.
The overall cost is around £870,000 and earlier this year, Northumberland County Council agreed funding of almost £170,000 for the scheme from its contingency to support grant funded projects.
Club chairman Ray Dunn said: “These are exciting times in a village where facilities are very limited.
“On completion, the community complex will provide a base for leisure and group activities – encouraging participants from near and far to enjoy our new venture.
“The committee, coaches, parents, as well as the children, have worked together to achieve this dream following more than 20 years of planning.
“Our thanks goes to all of the organisations who have helped along the way.”
The pavilion, which should be complete early next year, will include a kitchen, changing rooms, storage and toilets and will also be made available to schools, churches, scouts, resident associations, the local parish council, other sports clubs and local residents.
County council leader Peter Jackson said: “This is a great example of organisations and the local community coming together to create something special.
“The club has been working tirelessly for years to have its own facilities and I’m delighted to see the new pavilion starting to take shape.
It will benefit not only the club, but provide a focal point for the wider area and help bring a new lease of life to this site.”
Cabinet member for culture, arts, leisure and tourism, Coun Cath Homer, added: “The dedication and passion of everyone involved with this club is clear to see and it’s fantastic that they’ve now reached their latest milestone.
“It’s important communities have access to facilities such as this and we look forward to the clubhouse being ready for use in the coming months.”