We're in the money!

Gazette: Andrea Cook, manager at the Colchester School of Gymnastics, with some of her young charges. Andrea Cook, manager at the Colchester School of Gymnastics, with some of her young charges.

COLCHESTER School of Gymnastics’ expansion plans have been given a £10,000 boost from County Hall.

The club, in Brinkley Grove Road, Highwoods, is one of 16 local groups in line for grants totalling £120,000, announced this week by Essex County Council.

The club, which has 850 members and 1,200 more on its waiting list has £350,000 extension plans, but suffered a blow when Sport England turned down a funding application.

Club chairman Nikki Oakes said “Some people have been on our waiting list for 18 months.

“We are running as many classes as we can and the extension would allow us to double the size of the school and halve the waiting list. We are thrilled at this funding and still working hard to get the extra money we need to see this project through.”

Mersea Island Rugby Club has also benefited from a council grant, getting £18,000 to build changing rooms and showers when it moves from the East Mersea Youth Camp to the Glebe Sports Ground next season.

The money will be spent alongside £50,000 it is getting from Sport England and will mean work can begin on the new buildings early next year.

Peldon Village Hall committee has been given £13,000 towards the £600,000 it needs to build a new hall.

Chairman Keith Banks said: “The donation takes us past the halfway mark in terms of fundraising.

“The existing village hall was originally built in 1965 and is no longer fit for purpose, and especially not for our for mother and toddler groups.

“We only have one pub in the village, so the hall is a real focal point.”

Greenstead Community Association has been awarded £5,000 towards an outdoor gym on Magnolia Field.

Association chairman Julie Young said: “The project will cost £20,000, so we will have to seek additional funding to make this a reality.

“Gym membership costs are high and our dream is to allow free access to fitness equipment.”

The grants have come from a £1.4million countywide Community Initiatives Fund pot.

Who else is getting cash:

  • Colchester Community Voluntary Services – £19,000 towards a new minibus
  • Hythe Community Centre Association – £4,500 to renovate the kitchen at the Hythe Centre
  • Aldham Village Hall Charity – £12,500 to refurbish toilets and kitchen
  • East Donyland Parish Council – £8,000 to build new play areas at Rowhedge Recreation Ground
  • Rowhedge Coastal Rowing Club – £4,688 to build a new pontoon in the dinghy park
  • Colchester Natural History Society – £500 for a project in Highwoods Country Park
  • Wivenhoe Town Council – £1,000 towards repairs to a chapel in Stanley Road, which also houses a small museum
  • Chappel and Wakes Colne Village Hall – £3,000 to improve heating
  • Queen Elizabeth Hall, Layer-de-la-Haye – £5,000 towards a new village hall
  • 9th Colchester Scouts – £9,000 towards five new boats for use at Ardleigh Sailing Club
  • New Town Community Garden – £2,000 to extend fruit planting, build a storage unit and increase the range of flowers
  • Home Farm Primary School – £5,000 to upgrade changing rooms and cover the school swimming pool.


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