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Financial sacrifices pay off as pavilion tops out
IT TOOK a loan, a hike in the Council Tax and generous donations but Yarnton will soon get its hard-won new pavilion.
The wooden pavilion at Little Marsh Sports Field, in Green Lane, has been demolished to make way for the £328,772 structure.
Members of Yarnton Parish Council saw the “top out” of the new pavilion when the roof is laid on it.
Some 11 football and cricket teams use the pavilion but have seen it reduced to its “last legs” in recent years.
The parish council gave £9,000 and raised £146,500 from outside sources. It then turned to the village to help the fund the rest and put an increase in its share of the council tax to a public vote in March.
Forty-four out of 46 who attended a public meeting backed the plan. This added £13.73 to this year’s band D bill, making a total £55.20, to repay a £173,272 loan from Cherwell District Council.
Parish council chairman Fred Jones said: “I am relieved. It has taken an awful lot of time to get to where we are. We have had an awful lot of disappointments along the way in struggling to get the money together.
“The condition of the pavilion was so poor in relation to what was required by football associations. It was in dire need of an upgrade.
“It was a second-hand building when it was erected in the mid-1980s. Despite regular maintenance, nothing lasts forever and it got to the condition where we were throwing good money after bad.”
It is hoped the pavilion will open for teams as early as October.
Mr Jones said: “We have had a number of sports fields being closed in Oxfordshire so we don’t anticipate we would have any trouble finding people who want to pay to play. The parish council are very pleased they have received the support from the residents.”
Clubs which use the facility include Yarnton FC and the youth sides of Yarnton Blues.
Blues secretary Paul Emmett said: “The old building was a bit of an embarrassment.
“Hopefully the new building will be something for the existing teams and a modern welcome for visitors.
“The pavilion was definitely at the end of its life. It had seen better days.”
The Garfield Weston Foundation – which gives grants to good causes – put in £10,000 and West Oxfordshire’s M&M Skip Hire gave £500.
Managing director and Yarnton resident Mark Griggs said: “It is good for our village and also our kids who use the facilities.”
A further £136,000 came from a pot of contributions by developers to the district council as part of deals for new planning schemes.
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