8:00am Thursday 8th September 2011
By Christine Fleming
Sporting enthusiasts are set to be cheering with delight when two state-of-the-art sports pavilions are finally opened to the public.
After years campaigning for better facilities, and a further two years of construction work, North Sheen recreation ground users will welcome a promotion into the premier league of footballing facilities when a new £1m pavilion is unveiled this weekend. Complete with brand new changing rooms, a large hireable community room and a cafe, the facility is something the community has been waiting expectantly for since 2009.
At Palewell Common, there will be further celebrations when the hard work of the surrounding community pays off with the reopening of their refurbished pavilion. Palewell pavilion, which is housed in an original 1930s building, has been revamped with new changing facilities and a community room to replace previous ones residents said were not up to scratch.
Councillor Virginia Morris, Richmond's cabinet member for environment and planning, said Saturday, September 10, would be a great day for sports enthusiasts and general park goers alike.
She said: "I'm incredibly grateful to all the volunteers at Kew Park Rangers and the Friends of Palewell Common and Fields, who have helped us deliver facilities which are genuinely useful to the people who play sports and use the other facilities in both these parks.
"These pavilions are further examples of how the council is working with people to bring about facilities which they will enjoy using."
Coun Morris also praised the Football Foundation for funding the bulk of building costs at North Sheen Pavilion after they donated £638,000 to the project. A further £350,000 for the development was contributed by the Richmond Council and £50,000 was raised by Kew Park Rangers football club.
Football Foundation chief executive Paul Thorogood said: "This is the latest example of thousands of projects across the country the Football Foundation is supporting with money provided by our funding partners the Premier League, the FA and Government.
"We commend the London borough of Richmond, Kew Park Rangers and the Surrey county FA for their hard work in making this happen."
Kew Park Rangers chairman Councillor Jean-Francis Burford added: "This is a great day for Kew Park Rangers and the community. This facility has been 11 years in the making. I hope that local residents embrace it and make the pavilion a real hub."
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