Work is progressing well on a new sports pavilion in Islip.
The project by Islip Parish Council started three years ago in November 2012 when it was felt that the existing changing facilities were fast approaching the end of their life, with problems including a leaking roof and collapsing floor.
Many people had put in long hours to keep the facility up to scratch, especially Darren Andrews of Thrapston Town Warriors who made an enormous effort to keep the building usable.
But time was not on their side so they decided to try and get funding to pay for a new up-to-date building for the benefit of the existing clubs as well as clubs in the future.
Money for the project has come from numerous sources, including Islip Parish Council, clubs who use the facilities, the Premier League and the FA Facilities Fund, the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, Sport England Inspired Facilities Fund, East Northamptonshire Council’s Community Facilities Fund and WREN’s FCC Community Action Fund.
Much of this money was secured by Cllr Richard Maxwell, who has been a major driving force behind the project.
Parish council chairman Bob Lymm is overseeing the project, including problem solving along the way and running around to make sure certain elements are dealt with on time.
With the plans drawn up and planning permission obtained, Colson & Loring was chosen to carry out the build.
But due to funds being tight, they approached Sir Robert MacAlpine and were given valuable and enthusiastic support by Roger Smart and Piers Morgan, who provided ground preparation and site clearance as well as provision of temporary changing and toilet facilities to enable the cricket teams to continue using the field during the build.
In total their support has helped saved about £10,000.
Support has also been provided by Adrian Eyles, who used his tractor and equipment to enable soil tests to be carried out.
There has also been support from local councillor Wendy Brackenbury and encouragement from former MP Andy Sawford and his successor Tom Pursglove.
The foundations for the pavilion have now been finished, the walls are rapidly going up and everyone involved is looking forward to seeing the new pavilion become a reality.