PLANS to replace a village sports hall with a new £1.7m community complex are moving forward.

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PLANS to replace a village sports hall with a new £1.7m community complex are moving forward.

Fundraising for the project in Codicote is being spearheaded by the John Clements Sports and Community Trust.

The current sports hall, at the John Clements Memorial Playing Fields, Bury Lane, is in a portable cabin and nearing the end of its useful life.

Over the past few months three substantial grants have been secured – from the Garfield Weston Foundation, Sylvia Adams Charitable Trust and Lafarge Community Fund – boosting the total raised to £357,000.

And support is continuing to grow.

Project director, Jim Park, said: “These recent advances in funding have stemmed from the confidence created by earlier donations and pledges from local trusts, local authorities and clubs and individuals.

“It is imperative this continues and anybody wishing to make a donation or pledge is encouraged to do so.”

Donations can be made to the project via the website www.jc-codicote.org or by emailing Jim at parkiejfh@aol.com

In December the trust applied to the Sport England Iconic Facilities Fund for £350,000.

It will know if it has been successful by April.

As part of the project the trust has been in contact with various sports partnerships and sought advice from funding experts.

Mr Park added: “We are also targeting a further £100,000 from up to 10 funds by the end of June.

“Having had the playing fields accepted as a Queen Elizabeth II Field as part of the Diamond Jubilee year celebrations will help in this regard, as well as guaranteeing the fields for the playing of sport in perpetuity.

“Beyond this there are discussions with a number of parties which, if successful, could lead to substantial donations to the project and hopefully achieve the target funding of £1.7m.

“If this materialises later this year or early 2013, the project would proceed for a 2013 completion which would provide a real post London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics legacy.”

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