Lincoln community centre upgrade closer after £500k grant

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A much-anticipated project to regenerate a Lincoln community centre looks to have finally left the starting blocks almost 12 months after plans were revealed.

Half a million pounds has been awarded by Sport England to upgrade the Sudbrooke Drive Community Centre’s dilapidated changing rooms, meeting rooms, and sports hall.

Lincolnshire Sport initially hoped to invest £1.1 million into the development in July 2014, and relocate their offices to the site.

However, since then the proposals have been scaled back, with the estimated cost of the project now to be around £800,000.

In the last 12 months, the joint project has been taken over by the City of Lincoln Council, who submitted the £500,000 bid to Sport England, with the support of Lincolnshire Sport.

A further £100,000 for the project has come in the form of a Salix grant, which are interest free funds to the public sector to improve their energy efficiency and reduce their carbon emissions.

The remaining money will be provided by Section 106 agreements and other smaller grants.

Work on the project has to begin within the next 12 months for the grant to remain valid.

Simon Colburn, Assistant Director for Health and Environmental Services at the city council, said: “We are pleased to be awarded this money from Sport England.

“We are actively looking at match funding options and considering how we would best operate the site in the future to meet the conditions of the grant.”

Lincolnshire Sport CEO Janet Inman presenting the initial plans in July 2014. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Lincolnshire Sport CEO Janet Inman presenting the initial plans in July 2014. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Lincolnshire Sport Chief Executive Officer, Janet Inman, added: “The plans for Sudbrooke Drive are a really exciting development that will transform the building into a space which is at the heart of the community and will offer facilities that people who live in the area will be able to make the most of.”

In addition to the grant for the community centre, Sport England has also invested £75,000 in changing facilities linked to a community space in the Chapel Fields area of North Hykeham.

Across the country, 149 sports facilities have been awarded a total of £16.5 million in funding from the National Lottery, to mark the £5 billion invested by Sport England in grassroots sport over the last 20 years.

Sport England Chief Executive Jennie Price said: “There is no doubt that £5 billion is an enormous amount of money and we’re exceptionally grateful to the people who’ve bought National Lottery tickets, and taxpayers, for making it possible for us to invest much needed funds in grassroots sport.”